Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
NASA’s Juno mission will arrive at Jupiter and begin its orbit insertion maneuver at 4:18 am BST (5:18 am CEST, 03:18 UTC) on the morning of 5 July 2016 [late evening on 4 July in the USA]. Juno’s goals are to study Jupiter’s gravitational field, inner structure, deep atmospheric composition and magnetic environment in order to understand the origin and evolution of the giant planet. Europe has provided instrumentation for the mission, and European scientists from Italy, France, Belgium, the UK and Denmark are part of the team of co-investigators that will help analyze data sent back by Juno. Amateur and professional scientists from across Europe are also involved in campaigns using ground- and space-based telescopes that will study Jupiter at a range of wavelengths to put Juno’s close-up observations into context.
The Italian contribution to Juno includes the JIRAM (Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper) instrument, which will study Jupiter’s atmosphere in and around the planet’s auroras, and the KaTS (Ka-Band Translator System) instrument, which will allow the acquisition of highly precise velocity measurements for Juno’s gravity science experiments. France contributed to the construction of three particle spectrometers for Juno’s JADE experiment, which will help to characterize the speed and energy of populations of particles in the electrically charged plasma that fills the Jovian magnetosphere and ultimately produce its strong aurora. Belgium provided the scan mirror mechanism for Juno’s Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVS) instrument, which will enable UVS to investigate specific features in Jupiter’s auroras. Denmark has provided star trackers that enable Juno’s magnetometer to determine its orientation in space.
Italian scientists will help to understand Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its interaction with the planet, and in particular to study the infrared auroras. They will also participate in gravity experiments to determine the wind depth and the mass of Jupiter’s core that is made up by heavy elements.
French astronomers are involved in the study of Jupiter’s magnetosphere, atmosphere and interior. French scientists also coordinate, on behalf of Juno’s magnetospheric working group, world-wide ground-based observations of Jupiter’s intense and complex radio emissions.
Belgian scientists are collaborating on ultraviolet and infrared observations of Jupiter and will be coordinating an international team that will use the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to observe Jupiter’s ultraviolet auroras during the one-year life of the Juno mission. This is one of the biggest HST observation programs of a solar system object ever granted.
UK astronomers are involved in studies of Jupiter’s magnetosphere, dynamic atmosphere and its polar auroras. They have coordinated HST observations of the effect of the solar wind on Jupiter’s auroras during Juno’s cruise phase to the giant planet.
Full details of European involvement in the Juno mission and ground support campaign:
Details of European public events relating to the arrival of Juno at Jupiter:
Radio Science Laboratory, Sapienza University of Rome:
CNRS Article on Juno:
Center Spatial de Liège Juno webpage:
University of Liège’s Laboratory for Planetary and Atmospheric Physics (LPAP) Juno webpage:
University of Leicester Jupiter webpage:
Leicester to Jupiter: The Juno Mission:
DTU Space, Technical University of Denmark:
Juno spacecraft and its science instruments. Credit: NASA/JPL
http://www.lpap.ulg.ac.be/Juno/CSL_Juno_UVS_Scan_Mirror.jpegThe steerable scan mirror of the UVS spectrograph (SwRI) developed and tested at CSL. Credit: CSL/Université de Liège
Artist’s concept of the Juno mission. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Trailer for upcoming Europlanet animation on ‘Jupiter and its Icy Moons,’ featuring the Juno and JUICE missions.
More information about the Juno mission:
Juno Orbit Insertion Online Press Kit:
JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Dr. Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, in Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
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