NASA Spacecraft sends first photos of Jupiter after five year trip is completed

Pasadena, CA – NASA has released the first photos sent by its Juno spacecraft, which arrived at Jupiter on Saturday.

The said photos were taken by the spacecraft at its time of arrival at Jupiter, but the space association released them to the public just yesterday.

Furthermore, despite the spacecraft being three million miles away from Jupiter, the planet’s Great Red Spot, which is a centuries-old atmospheric storm, and three of its four largest moons were visible.

Juno managed to enter Jupiter’s orbit last week, dispelling fears of high-speed impact with debris in the planet’s tenuous ring, or potential radiation damage.

The spacecraft shut down its primary engine for thirty-five minutes straight, thus adequately slowing down before entering the planned polar orbit.

NASA did it again! That says it all to me,” Juno’s principal investigator, Scott Bolton, mentioned at a press conference, which took place after the good news came in. “And I am so happy to be part of the team that did that. This team has worked so hard, and we have just such great people. It’s almost like a dream coming true right here. … And now the fun begins. The science!

Furthermore, due to Jupiter’s massive distance from Earth, 540 million miles, NASA’s flight controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were not able to follow the spacecraft’s location and status at real time, as they had to wait forty-five minutes for radio signals to cross the space in between the two planets.

By the time they received the last update, Juno had already entered the designated orbit.

It took the spacecraft five years to reach its destination, while it will be staying on the planet for a twenty-month mission, during which Juno will be studying various aspects of the planet, including its atmosphere, interior and poles.

NASA’s department in charge of the mission stated that close-up photos of Jupiter are expected to come in their hands sometime next month.

Via: Science Daily

NASA reports sighting three volcanic eruptions in Jupiter’s moon

NASA has reported sighting three volcanic eruptions in lo, one of the moons on Jupiter’s planet. The US space agency made this revelation after it sighted volcanoes erupting and spewing forth hot lava just as is usually witnessed on planet Earth.

The moon lo is the only space that has been observed to spew forth volcanic eruptions and lava in the entire solar system apart from Earth, and while one or two are not unexpected in a few years apart, seeing three massive ones in a succession is quite rare and unusual.

According to Imke de Pater of the University of California in Berkeley, “we typically expect one huge outburst every one or two years and they are usually not this bright. Here, we had three extremely bright outbursts, which suggest that if we looked more frequently we might see many more of them on lo.” Sighting these phenomena excites NASA and it encourages the agency to further probe space for similar occurrences.

According to NASA, studying these volcanic eruptions in Jupiter’s moon lo helps space scientists to better understand what happens to make the surfaces of Earth and moon among other terrestrial planets what they are.

These sightings provide scientists with knowledge that gives insight into how surfaces of earth and moon are shaped into their present formations, and it also gives proofs into how lava heating and cooling processes occur in the Jupiter’s moon lo.

First woman to leads a NASA team to find life in Mars

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agency has announced Abigail Allwood, an Australian geologist, as the first woman to lead a team of investigators to research for signs of life on Mars in its coming 2020 rover mission. Abigail Allwood who has a Ph.D Astrobiology from Macquarie University will be in the Planetary Instrument X-ray Lithochemistry or PIXL, an instrument that uses X-ray to analyze the composition of soil and rock samples for signs of earlier life.

Dr. Allwood had in her past researches in Pilbara discovered microbial sediments known as stromatolites, and these layered matters gave some proof of earlier life on Earth; her research work had then been published in 2006 in the journal Nature. Today a staff at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Allwood has proved her mettle and won herself a place on the coming NASA mission to Mars.

This Mars 2020 mission has been scheduled to utilize a special rover vehicle that can convert carbon-dioxide to oxygen, and it is also fitted with cameras and a weather station that helps it carry out its mission to specificity. According to Dr. Allwood, “the intention is that this rover will collect samples and cache them so that future missions can come and pick them up…if you want to be serious about finding evidence of life you have to bring samples back, and you can’t just snatch and grab samples, they have to be carefully documented.”

This underlines the team’s mission to find traces of life on Mars and bring back samples of those traces while leaving enough pointers for future missions to work upon on returning back to Mars. Allwood has expressed delight on her inclusion on the team, and according to her, “I’d like to pave the way for other women to do the same thing. It’s no longer an old boys club.” The success of this Mars 2020 will open the way for future manned explorations into space.