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Juno: Mission to Jupiter's Interior - and Poles

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Fran Bagenal

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP)
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

Juno was launched in August 2011 and will reach Jupiter in 2016 where it will go into an eccentric polar orbit, skimming over the clouds and under the hazardous radiation belts. The mystery of how much water resides in the interior of Jupiter is a major issue for understanding the formation of our solar system - as well as giant planets around other stars. The Juno mission aims to determine Jupiter's interior structure via magnetic and gravity sounding. Scanning in six bands of microwaves will ascertain the abundance and distribution of water. Juno’s orbit over Jupiter’s poles is designed to allow the spacecraft to map Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields and the amount of water in its atmosphere, but the polar vantage point also affords Juno a perfect opportunity to study this completely unexplored region of magnetosphere. Some of the charged particles in the magnetosphere are funneled into the polar atmosphere to create intense auroral emissions, which Juno will observe with unprecedented resolution. Instruments on the spacecraft will measure the flux particles that interact with the atmosphere to generate the auroras. Ultraviolet and infrared images will provide visual context for data from particles and fields instruments which will elucidate how charged particles are accelerated to 10s of keV energies in Jupiter's magnetosphere.