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Glimpses of Ganymede

23 Jul 2020, 19:13 UTC
Glimpses of Ganymede
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Have a look at Ganymede as seen by the Juno spacecraft on December 26, 2019, the day after Christmas (and a day and time that now seems impossibly distant given all that has been going on closer to home). Jupiter’s largest moon is also the largest satellite in the Solar System, bigger even than Titan, and 26% larger than the planet Mercury, though far less massive. Our view comes courtesy of Juno’s Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument.

Image: These images were taken by the JIRAM instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft on Dec. 26, 2019, providing the first infrared mapping of Ganymede’s northern frontier. Frozen water molecules detected at both poles have no appreciable order to their arrangement and a different infrared signature than ice at the equator. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM.
Three-quarters the size of Mars, Ganymede began turning up in science fiction early in that genre’s development, as in Stanley Weinbaum’s “Tidal Moon,” which ran in the December, 1938 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. Begun by Weinbaum and finished by his sister after his death, the tale depicts a surreal, warm Ganymede, a world of large oceans with massive tidal effects causing global flooding. These days we put a lot ...

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