Dec 21, 2021 - Science

Listen to Jupiter's moon Ganymede

Ganymede as seen from Juno. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Ganymede as seen from Juno. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Scientists using NASA's Juno spacecraft have created an audio track of the probe's flyby of Jupiter's moon Ganymede using electromagnetic data captured during the mission.

Why it matters: This type of converted data can help scientists learn more about Jupiter's extreme magnetic field and how it interacts with the planet's largest moon.

Details: The 50-second video released last week sounds alien. (Listen.)

  • "If you listen closely, you can hear the abrupt change to higher frequencies around the midpoint of the recording, which represents entry into a different region in Ganymede's magnetosphere," Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton said in a statement.
  • The change in frequency could be due to Juno passing from Ganymede's night side to the moon's day side, William Kurth, who works on the mission said, but more analysis is needed to account for those changes.

The big picture: Juno started orbiting Jupiter in 2016, and since then, the spacecraft has been beaming back data to help researchers learn more about the massive planet.

  • Photos from Juno are helping scientists realize that storms on Jupiter look a lot like the cyclones found in Earth's oceans.
  • “When I saw the richness of the turbulence around the Jovian cyclones, with all the filaments and smaller eddies, it reminded me of the turbulence you see in the ocean around eddies,” Lia Siegelman, an oceanographer who studies this, said in the statement.
  • It's possible that by understanding Jupiter's long-lived storms, researchers may be able to figure out more about how storms on Earth also work, according to NASA.
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