On June 7, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will approach the surface of Jupiter’s largest moon at a distance of 1,038 km. This flyby will mark the spacecraft’s closest approach to the solar system’s largest natural satellite since 2000. Then the rendezvous was made by the Galileo spacecraft. The flight will provide detailed images, and the device will provide an idea of the composition of the moon, its ionosphere, magnetosphere and ice envelope. Measurements of the radiation situation near the Moon will also be useful for future missions in the Jupiter system.
Ganymede is larger than Mercury, it is the only moon in the solar system with its magnetosphere – a bubble-shaped region of charged particles that surrounds a celestial body.
Juno is equipped with a suite of sensitive instruments capable of viewing Ganymede in a way that has never been possible before. The researchers note that they will be able to obtain unique data and help prepare for the next generation of flights to the Jupiter system – Europa Clipper and JUpiter ICy moons Explorer [JUICE]. This was announced by researcher Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
It is reported that the scientific instruments of the device will begin to collect data about three hours before the closest approach. Several devices will operate during the flight: an ultraviolet spectrograph (UVS), a Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) and a microwave radiometer (MWR).