NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been sent towards Jupiter to study the gas giant and some of its moons. While our planet only has one natural satellite, which we all know as being the brightest object from the night sky, the biggest planet from our Solar System has 79.
Having so many moons can only mean that astronomers will have a lot of work to do. They probably won’t get to finish studying all the Solar System’s moons as they would want to – neither them nor many other generations of astronomers that will come in the future. But it’s the unknown itself that pushes scientists, in general, to search for more answers about nature.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft takes photos of Io and Europa
Space.com informs us all that after Juno’s flyby somewhere around Jupiter on January 12 has captured some impressive photos of the planet and of two of its numerous moons, Europa and Io. You can see the photos by following the link that was just mentioned.
Astronomers are not in their first attempt to study the biggest planet from our Solar System, namely Jupiter, up-close. And neither is the Juno spacecraft itself. NASA’s gadget had marked its 39th close flyby of the gas giant when it obtained the amazing photos. If you watch them, you’ll see the southern hemisphere of the gas giant, along with two of its moons in the same picture.
We all have to be realistic and admit that life existing on Jupiter, at least in the forms that we know it, is highly improbable. The planet is not even solid, which would be perhaps the main hindrance.
Io and Europa are two of Jupiter’s most important moons. These remote worlds are considered very important for astrophysics, as you can never tell for sure what astronomers could find there – maybe conditions suitable for life, maybe even some forms of life itself. Who knows?