The new mission to explore the icy moons of Jupiter

in Proof of Brain5 months ago

The new mission to explore the icy moons of Jupiter

April 14, 2023 is a new date that must be marked in the exploration of the solar system because that day the new interplanetary mission of the European space agency ESA was launched.

The name of the Mission is JUICE, they are acronyms that refer in English to the exploration of the icy moons of Jupiter, these moons are not so icy because inside there are hidden global oceans with more water than the one in which it is found. in all the oceans on earth.

It is a mission under the leadership of the European space agency, but with contributions from NASA, the Jafsa, which is the Japanese space agency, and the Israeli space agency, this will be the first Large-class mission of the space agency's Cosmic Vision program. european.

Souce Io (moon)

The spacecraft will visit three of the four large moons discovered by Galileo in 1610, they will be the icy moons of Ganymede, Callisto and Europa, io is the closest Galilean satellite to Jupiter, io is slightly larger than our moon and is left out of exploration because io is a world without ice due to the io is very dry, it is in proportion the known object of the solar system with the least amount of water and without water there can be no life as we know it

Souce Ganymede

Very different is Ganymede, the largest Moon in the solar system, with its diameter of 5,268 kilometers it is even larger than the Planet Mercury, it is the only known Moon that has a magnetic field, for which reason it is suspected that it has a cast iron core. in a similar way to what happens with the earth.

Its frozen surface is 87 million square kilometers almost nine times the surface of the United States, under it it is believed that there is a global ocean of at least 100 km deep perhaps more, which meant that Ganymede is about ten times more liquid water than there is in all the oceans on earth, under that ocean would be a rocky mantle and in the center would be the metallic core.

Ganymede's crust may have some kind of dynamics or movement as smooth regions with no or very few craters can be seen, plus we also find very worn old craters so something happens in Ganymede that erodes the craters and renews the surface.

Souce Callisto

Callisto is a little-known moon but it also has the size of a small planet, since it has a diameter of 4,879 kilometers, almost the same as that of the Planet Mercury, it is the third satellite in size of the solar system, only surpassed by Ganymede and Saturn's large moon Titan is also suspected of having a global ocean beneath its icy surface, but Callisto's crust would be the thickest of the three moons to explore.

It is estimated that it would be between 100 and 150 kilometers thick, which makes a crust very stable without earthquakes and without renewal, so it is very old, which is why it shows us a landscape full of craters, experts consider Callisto an ideal place. to establish a human base in the future due to the stability of its crust, the abundance of resources and very important for being away from Jupiter's radiation, Callisto receives about 300 times less radiation than that supported by the moon Europa.

Souce Europa

And it is that the radiation and the lack of a protective magnetic field would make life impossible on the surface of Europa, it would even make it very difficult to establish a permanent base there unless it was extremely shielded, it is estimated that a human being exposed to such radiation level on the surface of the moon Europa, you would develop a serious illness or even death in just 24 hours, but under the icy crust of Europa, the thinnest of the three icy moons to be explored, things change and a lot , Radiation does not reach there and a great global ocean extends.

Europa is slightly smaller than our moon, Europa's crust is crisscrossed by an enormous number of cracks and is constantly regenerating, the surface is believed to be only 20 to 180 million years old in its oldest parts, which which represents a level of renewal even greater than that of the Earth's surface.

Research on Europa indicates that its ocean may contain all the ingredients for life as we know it to have arisen in it, Europa has the thinnest icy crust of the three moons that will be explored, so the cracks expel geysers at through which the water from the inland ocean exits, as Europe lacks A significant atmosphere, the water immediately transforms into steam and ice crystals, depositing as snow around the cracks, but be careful, because with the water they also come out to the outside salts and substances that are present in the inner ocean of the moon.

The analyzes suggest that the dark reddish areas that we see and other features on the surface of Europa that stain the cracks and their surroundings appear to have a large presence of salts such as magnesium sulfate, which comes from the water of the interior ocean, that is one of the the things the Juice mission will have to investigate to analyze habitability on the icy moons of Jupiter.


Over the next two and a half weeks the spacecraft will deploy its various antennas and instrument arms, including the 16-meter-long radar antenna, the 10.6-meter-long magnetometer arm, and other scanning instruments, now beginning a 8-year journey with four gravity-assisted flybys of the earth and Venus in order to gain momentum and launch the spacecraft towards the system of moons or rather small worlds that orbit Jupiter, the largest of the planets in the solar system.


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