Jupiter's newest moon.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    In case you missed it over the holiday weekend (busy watching fireworks? reading Donald Trump's tweets? Waiting for Hillary's indictment?) NASA successfully inserted the probe Juno into orbit around Jupiter, the gas giant planet.

    The Juno mission was launched in 2011, and has spent the last few years building up momentum among the inner, rocky, planets before slingshotting across three-quarter billion miles of space to rendezvous with Jupiter. A perilous 30+ minute burn of its main engine slowed it (from a speed of more than 40 miles per second) enough to enter a 53.3 day orbit. It then deployed the massive solar panels that provide the ~ 500 watts that power its array of sensors and transmitters. On October 19, the engine will fire again, dropping Juno into a 14-day orbit around Jupiter's pole, passing within a few thousand KM of the top of the Jovian atmosphere, and allowing the real science to begin.

    Its hard to overstate the technical challenges overcome by our engineers and scientists at NASA. After a journey of more than 2 billion miles, the burn time necessary to enter its initial orbit was within one second of that calculated. The dim sunlight that powers Juno's solar panels is less than a twentieth as intense as here on earth. The intense radiation around Jupiter is so great that its main sensors have to encased in a titanium vault.

    As it orbits Jupiter's polar regions, building up a mosaic of the planet's atmosphere, scientists hope to uncover many of the mysteries of the giant planet. Does it have a rocky core? When, in the genesis of our solar system, did the planet form?

    Its easy to become cynical about our society; our government; our species. But when you look at the marvels of projects such as Juno's mission to Jupiter, it gives me a great deal of hope for us all.
     
  2. Spink10 macrumors 601

    Spink10

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    #2
    It is amazing the technology...so I am ignorant of anything really to do with space. I'm sure like a lot of people that are ignorant of space what is the benefit of projects like this? To the uneducated (me) this seems like a HUGE waste of money? Maybe the top 5 reasons it is not a waste would help me...
     
  3. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #3
    I watched NASA's live stream with my teenage SpaceX-fanatic nephew on the patio drinking beer, grilling prawns and oysters, and shooting bottle rockets out of my hand. Great days. Can't wait to see the first JunoCam photos.
     
  4. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    The thing about pretty much any pure scientific effort is that you simply can't predict what the benefits and payoffs might be. You can go into the project with plenty of questions - but the answers you get may surprise you. Getting an answer you didn't expect isn't failure - its actually the real benefit of science itself.

    From a purely scientific standpoint, we know very little about how Jupiter formed. And since the only planets we have so far discovered outside of the solar system are giants like Jupiter, than may give us clues as to how planets in general form, and where else to look for them. We may also learn more about Jupiter's complex weather systems, science that may help us better understand how massive storms operate here on earth. We'll also learn more about Jupiter's complex magnetic field, creator of the most intense aurorae in the Solar System. And understanding how planets' agent fields operate could be very useful in the coming years, as there is the possibility that our own planet's magnetic field might change radically in the near future.

    From an engineering standpoint, we will probably learn how complex electronic survive in an intense radiation environment. Something that may prove very useful if we are to engineer robots to deal with nuclear power plant or other areas contaminated with radioactive materials. We'll surely learn more about optimizing solar panel deployment and power management. The ~45 minute radio transit time from Jupiter to earth is likely to sharpen our ability to program autonomous vehicles of every description.

    We, all of us, with our smartphones and GPS systems, our solar panels and our hybrid- and electric cars are already the beneficiaries of a tremendous amount of NASA-funded science and engineering technology. The airplanes we fly on are dozens of times safer than those of just a generation ago, largely as a result of NASA-funded scientific research.

    I know thats not a clear, "Top Five", answer for you. But science is very rarely a bad investment.
     
  5. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #5
  6. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #6
    I'm just waiting for them to throw up some close ups of Jupiter, would be cool if they did a live stream while Juno enters the atmosphere once the mission is over.
     
  7. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #7
    Stay classy.

    BL.
     
  8. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #8
    Fair enough, I'll clean that up, I did stoop low on that one.
     
  9. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

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    #9
    Oh come on, it was an obvious joke and you even hit both sides. Don't let safe spacers try and stop you from a silly post now and then. I'm only disappointed that you didn't make a Chris Christie couldn't go with them because he has his own gravitational pull joke.
     
  10. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #10
    It's worth remembering that the last mission to Jupiter, Galileo (launched 1989, arrived 1995, deorbited 2003) achieved only 70 percent of mission goals, as the high gain antenna had failed to deploy.

    Kind of makes me disappointed that Juno will only have two years to do science.
     
  11. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #11
    Considering the advances in technology, Juno can probably do considerably more in 2 years than Galileo could achieve in 8, even with the high gain antenna deployed.
     
  12. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #12
    Not necessarily. They announced earlier this morning that they now have a separate mission to go to Europa.

    BL.
     
  13. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #13
    Wow! I thought for a second that you said Europe. :rolleyes:
     
  14. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #14
    Actually, ESA has a Europa mission in the works.
     
  15. HEK, Jul 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016

    HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

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    #15
    Yeah would be nice to have one thread without Hillary or Trump in it.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 5, 2016 ---
    Now that's funny.. I wonder if light bends as it travels around the space time warpage created by Christy. Would Chris Christies watch speed up as he moved his wrist away from his body center mass? Think about it.
     
  16. HEK macrumors 68030

    HEK

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    #16
    Don't let him near the Milky Way, I live in that galaxy and Christy loves eating Mily Ways. :eek:
     
  17. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

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    #17
    or the world.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 5, 2016 ---
    hey the hamster can only live so long.
     
  18. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #18
    I don't think that's such a good idea...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #19
    I know, it was a good one, but some obviously disagreed with it, out of respect for everyone I removed the post.
     

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