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NASA Spotlight: Jupiter’s moons astronomical image of the day

NASA Spotlight: Jupiter’s moons astronomical image of the day

Two of Jupiter’s largest moons are in video highlighted by NASA on Tuesday (13). In the animation, Europa and Io pass in front of the Great Red Spot, the largest known storm in the solar system.

Pictures of the moons were taken by the Cassini spacecraft, which flew by the planet in 2000 while on its way to Saturn. It reached the planet and its moons in 2004, collecting and transmitting data that transformed what is known about Saturn.

In the video, Io appears away. Although this moon is closer to Jupiter and therefore orbits it more quickly, Europa appears to have passed it. In fact, their movements appeared this way due to the vehicle moving quickly and changing its position while taking the records.

Cassini ended its mission in 2017 with a fatal plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere. Today, NASA’s Juno spacecraft is studying Jupiter and its moons. In the next decade, the Jovian system will receive the JUICE mission from the European Space Agency.

moons of Jupiter

Europa and Io are just a few of the dozens of natural satellites orbiting Jupiter. A few months ago, astronomers announced the confirmation of 12 new moons around the planet, which are in addition to the 80 other moons already identified. Observed between 2021 and 2022.

Among its many natural satellites are the moons Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, which are together known as the Galilean satellites. These are the largest of the planet’s moons and were first spotted by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610.

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Jupiter’s inner moons are responsible for the dust that makes up its faint but present rings; Others orbit the planet at greater distances than it does. It is possible that the largest natural satellites of Jovian are captured asteroids, while the smaller ones may be fragments left after massive impacts.

source: APOD