NASA’s Juno spacecraft, launched in August 2011, is set to get the closest to Jupiter it has yet, giving us an eye on Jupiter that we have yet to see.
The best part? You can watch it live.
NASA’s “Eyes on Juno” app for Mac and PC that will allow you to “see” where Juno is at any given time can be downloaded here.
And as though sensing it’s debut, Jupiter put on a light and sound show for the Hubble telescope and Juno respectively.
The strange lights were tweeted by NASA on the 30th June.
Juno also recorded strange sounds coming from the planet.
Alien proof, yeah?
These lights are Jupiter’s auroras, caused by charged particles from the planet’s surroundings, taking them from solar storms and from one of it’s own moons, Lo. Aurora’s on Earth are caused by solar storms. Jupiter’s non-stop auroras can cover areas as large as Earth itself.
As for the sounds, these are a product of something called bow shock. William Kurth of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, lead co-investigator for the Waves investigation, explains in a NASA news release that bow shock “is analogous to a sonic boom”.
“The solar wind blows past all the planets at a speed of about a million miles per hour, and where it hits an obstacle, there’s all this turbulence.” The obstacle in this case would be Jupiter’s magnetosphere (the largest in the solar system ofcourse).
Juno will begin it’s orbit of Jupiter, coming up to 3000 miles close to the planet, on the 4th of July.
Information/resources compiled from Huffington Post.