The Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter has detected an FM radio signal coming from the moon Ganymede, a discovery that marks the first discovery from the moon, according to the KTLA KTVX sister station in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“This is not ET,” said Patrick Wiggins, one of NASA’s ambassadors to Utah. “It’s more of a natural feature.”
Juno was traveling through the polar region of Jupiter – where the lines of the magnetic field connect with Ganymede – when she crosses the radio source. It is scientifically called “decametric radio emission”.
Here on Earth we know it as Wi-Fi and use it every day.
According to Britannica.com, Jupiter’s radio broadcasts were discovered in 1955, and over the past 66 years, more and more discoveries have been made about how signals work.
“A member of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society once built an amateur radio telescope that could detect Jupiter’s electromagnetic radiation,” Wiggins said.
Juno’s mission is to study how the planet Jupiter formed and how it evolved.
“Juno will observe Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, atmospheric dynamics and composition, and evolution,” according to NASA.
What caused the radio emissions from Jupiter’s moon? The electrons – not the aliens – caused the signals.
Electrons oscillate at a lower speed than they rotate, causing electrons to amplify radio waves very quickly. The process is called cyclotron maser instability (CMI). The electrons that generate the radio signal can also cause a glow in the far ultraviolet spectrum, a phenomenon also observed by Juneau’s camera.
The spacecraft saw the radio moon on the moon in just five seconds. He was flying at 50 miles per second – screaming 111,847 mph.
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