NASA Reveals What Its Juno Spacecraft Spotted After Death Challenging Manoeuvre
14 Décembre, 2019, 10:25 | Auteur: Therese Cote
This year, NASA was pretty lucky, as they accidentally observed a brand new giant cyclone on Jupiter. The discovery of the massive Jovian tempest occurred on November 3, 2019, during the most recent data-gathering flyby of Jupiter by NASA's Juno spacecraft. Scientists, the research team is looking for ways to protect energy and keep the nucleus warm, while the engineers "jumping from the shadow of Jupiter" developed the idea, he said.
"Without that maneuver, without the creative genius of the folks at JPL on the navigation team, we wouldn't have the handsome data that we have to show you today", he said.
After Juno's first arrival to Jupiter in July 2016, he discovered nine giant cyclones in the north and six in the south that surrounded the planet's poles. Were they, like their Earthly siblings, a transient phenomenon, taking only weeks to develop and then ebb? None of the six storms showed signs of yielding to allow other cyclones to join in.
'It virtually appeared just like the polar cyclones have been a part of a personal membership that appeared to withstand new members, ' stated Bolton. "This new addition is smaller in stature than its six more established cyclonic brothers: It's about the size of Texas".
Only time will tell if the small cyclone will grow to reach the size of its neighbors.
Cameras on Juno were able to take a deeper look at the atmospheric process happening on Jupiter and peek inside the weather layer 30 to 45 miles beneath the cloud tops. Its data indicate wind speeds of the new cyclone average 225 miles per hour (362 kph) - comparable to the velocity found in its six more established polar colleagues. November3, Juno captured a new cyclone joining the private party. The central cyclone at the heart of the gathering was as big as the United States.
'Nature is revealing new physics concerning fluid motions and the way large planet atmospheres work'. We are beginning to understand it through observations and computer simulations.
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'Future Juno flybys will assist us additional refine our understanding by revealing how the cyclones evolve over time'.
The spacecraft's JunoCam additionally obtained visible-light imagery of the brand new cyclone.
Happily, Juno can continue to orbit and study Jupiter until the mission's end in July 2021.
The initial mission plan called for Juno to tighten its science orbit considerably, down to 14 Earth days. "Really, really cold", Juno project scientist Steve Levin, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said during a press conference here yesterday at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), where the team announced the new results. Flying through Jupiter's enormous shadow would take about 12 hours to complete, which would cut off the power source, drain the spacecraft's battery and potentially spell the end of the mission.
The team calculated that the craft's trajectory would miss the eclipse if Juno performed a rocket burn ahead of November 3. The eclipse could be lethal for Juno: the spacecraft would probably freeze to death. The maneuver would utilize the spacecraft's reaction control system, which wasn't initially meant to be used for a maneuver of this size and duration.
"Thanks to our navigators and engineers, we still have a mission", said Bolton. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built and operates the spacecraft.
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