HomeHigh-techJupiter's moons and the many hopes of finding life

Jupiter’s moons and the many hopes of finding life

The largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, expects human visitation at least through material from the blue planet. Indeed, a unique space probe, called Juice (for Jupiter Icy moon Explorer) in this case is preparing to observe it.

In fact, it is rather in its flowerbeds if one can say that the human being will be really interested and not only in the gaseous planet itself. The probe should take off from the earth for a long odyssey next April for an eight-year journey with the ambition of reaching the orbits of Callisto, Europa and Ganymede, the three largest icy moons of the giant planet Jupiter.

It will therefore be a historic moment for the European Space Agency (ESA), because it is the very first time that a European probe will explore a planet beyond Mars, in the outer part of the solar system and investigate unknown worlds, the ESA not being able to explore all the moons in orbit of Jupiter.

On occasion, this will be the final take-off of the Ariane 5 rocket, given that this launcher should then give way to Ariane 6. The space and iconic mission that awaits Juice bound for the largest planet in the solar system, the carbonated Jupiter -one of the major events in the conquest of space in 2023- promises to be a long-term one and raises many hopes as to the understanding of the conditions of life in our solar system. Jupiter, which has remarkable differences with Earth, it should be remembered, is a gas giant with more than 60 moons in orbit.

Must say that the moons of Jupiter have always intrigued scientists for many years. The very irregular surface of one of them, Callisto, which makes it the star with the most craters in the solar system, suggesting a very advanced age and a frozen geological evolution. Europe surprises with its atmosphere and the presence of water vapor at altitude. A water vapor that seems to come from the sublimation of its icy surface in contact with the Sun. The presence of water on a star has always given hope for the discovery of life, ” وجعلنا من الماء كل شيئ حي: صدق الله العضي” a piece of Quran verse that sums up perfectly the power of water. That said, it is around this objective that the exploration of “Europe” will be centered.

Every mission must have an end. After orbiting Jupiter for several years, JUICE will position itself around Ganymede (ferrous core, like Earth), Jupiter’s first moon, which it will have flown over when it arrived 4 years earlier. She will then carry out numerous orbits around the satellite to learn more about its geology, its magnetic field, its frozen ground and its supposedly immense ocean of water, buried under the surface. In 2035, and once the main objectives of the mission have been achieved, the probe will lower its orbit gradually, until it crashes on the ground of the satellite. It will then be the end of a mission, the end of a journey and of a scientific exploration developed over several decades.

Previously, Juice will have passed through our solar system before reaching its destination in 2029. This robotic probe will then have spent at least three years studying Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. Scientists believe that these icy moons are likely to harbor oceans below their surface. Essential element for the appearance of life. JUICE has many high-tech scientific instruments as well as large solar panels, which supply it with energy.

Collect information about the hidden oceans of Jupiter’s moons and try to learn more about their underground water reserves, Map the lunar surfaces. Determine the exact composition of these moons, from their surface to their core, as well as their evolution over time, investigate the particularly thin upper atmospheric layer (or exosphere) of Jupiter’s moons.

Juice will also study the magnetic fields of Ganymede and Jupiter and their interactions. Science teams rely on Juice to help them make new discoveries about Jupiter. The probe will also examine the atmosphere of Jupiter, in constant evolution, and study various regions of this planet that man does not know enough about. Juice’s instruments will also measure the wind speed in the middle layer of Jupiter’s atmosphere for the very first time, while focusing on the gas giant’s own energy transport phenomena.



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