Shortly before the turn of the year, NASA's Jupiter probe Juno became the first in more than 20 years to visit the deepest of the gas giant's large moons and take images of Io. It is now available online and shows the most volcanically active celestial body in the solar system in a level of detail not seen in a long time. The data collected during the flyby at a distance of just 1,500 kilometers will be compared with ancient data in order to search for changes and the origin of the strong volcanic activity. Io is the most volcanically active celestial body in the solar system. However, in addition to another close flyby, the probe will also change its orbit: from February, it will need only 33 days instead of 38 to orbit Jupiter.
Radiation takes its toll
Images now released from Io show the moon half-lit and several volcanoes on its surface. They were captured on a JunoCam According to officials More and more are showing the effects of the massive radiation she has been exposed to for years. Dynamic range has suffered recently and streaks have also appeared due to damage. They are working to mitigate this and keep the camera running. Overall, it appears as if the final phase of the successful mission has now begun with the flyby of Io. Juno has been traveling in the Jupiter system since 2016, and is supposed to conduct research there until 2018. However, the mission has been extended and is currently scheduled to last until 2025.
Among other things, Juno has already determined that the planet's magnetic field is much stronger than expected. Thanks to Juno, researchers were also able to notice that the gas giant's north pole is significantly different from its south pole. Analyzing the poles was one of the mission's most important goals, as they had previously been invisible to passing probes and thus largely unexplored. JunoCam is not a research instrument and is designed to operate despite massive radiation exposure from the massive planet. However, only seven close flybys were planned, but dozens have now survived. A year ago, I lost 200 photos due to technical problems.
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