Jupiter

NASA’s Europa Clipper hits huge milestone in hunt for life on Jupiter’s moon

NASA’s Europa Clipper hits huge milestone in hunt for life on Jupiter’s moon

NASA has big hopes for Jupiter's moon Europa, and the American space agency has just dotted the i's and crossed the t's on the spacecraft that will fly out there to see if it can actually support life. Europa Clipper faces a long journey, with Jupiter orbiting the Sun at a far more distant elliptical path than Earth, but what it could find there may make that all worthwhile.

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NASA decides against launching Europa Clipper using the Space Launch System

NASA decides against launching Europa Clipper using the Space Launch System

One of the places in our solar system that scientists have hopes of harboring extraterrestrial life is Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. To learn more about the icy moon, NASA is gearing up to launch the Europa Clipper mission. Originally, that mission was to be launched aboard the Space Launch System known as SLS.

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A conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury can be seen in the nighttime sky

A conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury can be seen in the nighttime sky

Skywatchers have something to look for tonight, assuming you have clear weather and can see the sky. The two largest planets in the solar system, Saturn and Jupiter, will be nearby in the nighttime sky along with Mercury. When planets appear to be close to each other in the sky, it's called a conjunction.

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NASA extends science missions for Juno and InSight

NASA extends science missions for Juno and InSight

NASA has announced that it is extending the missions for a pair of spacecraft after an external review of their scientific productivity. The missions are Juno and InSight, both of which have increased the understanding of the solar system and resulted in scientists asking new sets of diverse questions. NASA says that an independent review panel comprised of experts with backgrounds in science, operations, and mission management has determined that both Juno and InSight have "produced exceptional science," They have recommended to NASA both missions be continued.

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Saturn and Jupiter will form the “Christmas Star” this month

Saturn and Jupiter will form the “Christmas Star” this month

2020 has been a dumpster fire in most aspects, but there have been some bright spots for amateur astronomers and sky watchers. Another event is happening in the nighttime sky this month that skywatchers will want to pay attention to. In the nighttime sky, Jupiter and Saturn are meeting up, something they do every 20 years.

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New model shows how icy eruptions occur on Jupiter’s moon Europa

New model shows how icy eruptions occur on Jupiter’s moon Europa

Researchers from Stanford University have developed a new model that shows a possible source of icy eruptions known to happen on the surface of Europa, one of the moons orbiting Jupiter. The model shows how brine on Jupiter's moon, Europa, can migrate within the moon's icy shell, forming pockets of salty water that erupt onto the surface of Europa when freezing. These findings are important with the Europa Clipper mission to explore the moon coming.

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NASA’s Juno mission may have found lightning sprites in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA’s Juno mission may have found lightning sprites in the atmosphere of Jupiter

There's an electrical phenomenon that occurs here on Earth above thunderstorms known as sprites. Here on Earth, the sprites are typically red. NASA scientists pouring over the data from the Juno mission recently announced that they have discovered sprites in the clouds of Jupiter for the first time. Rather than being red like the sprites on Earth, on Jupiter, they're blue.

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NASA Juno mission data reveals “shallow lightning” in Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA Juno mission data reveals “shallow lightning” in Jupiter’s atmosphere

NASA currently has a spacecraft orbiting Jupiter called Juno. Recent data collected from Juno suggests that the massive planet is home to a phenomenon known as "shallow lightning." This is an unexpected form of electrical discharge that originates from clouds that contain an ammonia-water solution. Lightning on Earth originates from clouds containing water.

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NASA publishes first images of Jovian moon’s colorful North Pole

NASA publishes first images of Jovian moon’s colorful North Pole

Jupiter, the massive, mysterious planet referred to by the adjective 'Jovian,' has multiple moons, one of which is called Ganymede. In a new announcement this week, NASA shared a series of images showing off Ganymede's North Pole, the first images to reveal this part of the celestial body. The photos were captured by the Juno spacecraft during its mission back in December 2019, but this is the first time they've been published.

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Scientists have a new theory on how Jupiter’s moons were formed

Scientists have a new theory on how Jupiter’s moons were formed

Science has known that Jupiter has a quartet of moons since the days of Galileo. Those moons include Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Each of the four moons is significantly different than the other. Interestingly, all of the satellites are of similar size at about one-fourth of the Earth's radius.

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