Thursday, 11 August 2011


The Space mission not the film about the pregnant girl with Michael Cera playing his usual role. Set sail last friday as part of NASA's new frontiers program, it will take about five years to get to Jupiter where it will then spend a year orbiting the gas giant.

The main objectives of Juno are to peer into Jupiter's interior to determine how it formed and to map its atmosphere below the clouds to determine its global structure and motion. Also to be probed is Jupiter's magnetosphere by directly sampling charged particles and measuring the magnetic field while observing the auroras in the UV-region. It is suspected that in the inner atmosphere the hydrogen it contains is under such high pressure it becomes a fluid known as metallic hydrogen which is thought to be the source of Jupiter's magnetic field hopefully Juno will shed some light on this.

The name for Juno is very apt as in Greek-Roman mythology Jupiter drew a vail of clouds around him self to hide his mischief and it was Jupiter's wife Juno who peered though the clouds and exposed Jupiter. Hopefully the spacecraft will live up to it's name.

Lego figures of (From left to right) the gods Jupiter and Juno as well as astronomer Galileo Galilei made of aluminium have been sent along for the ride.

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