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NASA grants Juno extended lease to explore Jupiter after mysterious radio signal


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Jupiter’s radio emissions were discovered in 1955, and more and more discoveries have been made over the past 66 years that offer a painful look at how signals work.

NASA provided an extension of the Juno mission shortly after the spacecraft orbiting Jupiter since 2016 spotted a unique FM signal, probably originating from the moon on the planet Ganymede. No such discoveries have previously been made by the largest and most massive of the solar system̵

7;s moons.

According to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website, the research robot must continue its mission to gather data on the largest planet in our solar system and its dozens of moons, at least until September 2025 or when it ceases to function.


Revealed images of NASA Juno by Jovian Moon

The research will be extended to the larger system of Jovian, which includes the rings of Jupiter and the large moons, which are of particular interest as some are known for water (especially Europe). In 2015, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope discovered evidence that Ganymede had an underground ocean.

© AP Photo / NASA

Two views of the ice-covered moon of Jupiter, Europe

The latest discovery puts the moons on a short list of the most likely places in the solar system to find primitive life.

“Since its first orbit in 2016, Juno has provided one after another disclosure of the internal workings of this massive gas giant. With the expanded mission, we will answer fundamental questions that arose during Juno’s main mission as we reach beyond the planet to explore Jupiter’s ring system and Galileo’s satellites, “said Scott Bolton of the Southwestern Research Institute.

The Milestone signal is causing speculation

Radio emissions around Jupiter were first discovered in 1955, and extensive research began by researchers.
However, a radio emission of a cornerstone coming from one of Jupiter’s largest moons, Ganymede, was observed by Juno for five seconds as it flew at 50 km per second or 111,847 miles per hour. The waves were detected in magnetic lines connecting Ganymede with the polar regions of the gas giant. The findings are published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.

As much as UFO hunters prefer to explain the signal as related to some extraterrestrial reality, the phenomenon is thought to be the result of the amplification of electrons by radio waves, in a process called cyclotron maser (CMI) instability.

“It’s not ET. It’s more of a natural feature,” NASA spokesman Patrick Wigens was quoted as saying by KTVX in Utah.

The phenomenon is related to the physical process, albeit a shorter one, which causes auroras to occur on Earth.

“The spirals of electrons in Jupiter’s magnetic field are thought to be the cause of the radio noise we hear,” NASA said.

The Juno spacecraft was launched to Jupiter in 2011 to study how the planet forms and evolves over time, with a mission deadline of 2021.

The extended mission now includes 42 additional orbits of Jupiter, as well as flights to its moons Ganymede, Io and Europe.

Juno is scheduled to pass low over Ganymede on June 7, 2021, and subsequently throws himself into Europe.
Polar cyclones at Jupiter’s poles will be thoroughly studied, and NASA hopes to undertake the first-ever detailed study of the system of weak rings surrounding the planet.

“The designers of the mission have done an incredible job, creating an expanded mission that preserves the only most valuable resource on board – fuel. Gravity aid from multiple satellite flights directs our spacecraft through the Jovian system, while providing a wealth of scientific opportunities, ”said Ed Hirst, Juno Project Manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

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