Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE)
Recently the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the launch of Jupiter ICy Moons Explorer (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer: Juice) in April 2023.
- It will be Europe’s first dedicated robotic mission to Jupiter.
- The target of this mission has been set to reach Jupiter in July 2031.
- The mission will enter orbit around Jupiter and perform several flybys of its large icy moons: Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
- After a four-year orbit around the Moon, the Juice mission will enter orbit around Ganymede, the largest moon in our solar system.
- Juice will become the first spacecraft to reach orbit around another planet’s moon.
- Jupiter is the fifth planet from our Sun and is, by far, the largest planet in the Solar System. Even if all the other planets are taken together, Jupiter is twice as large.
- Jupiter’s stripes and swirls are actually cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water, floating in an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.
- Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm larger than Earth that has been active for hundreds of years. Jupiter is surrounded by dozens of moons.
- Jupiter also has many rings, but unlike Saturn’s famous rings, Jupiter’s rings are much fainter and are made of dust, not ice.
- With a radius of 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers), Jupiter is 11 times as wide as Earth. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units (AU) away from the Sun. An astronomical unit (AU) is the distance from the Earth to the Sun. At such a distance, it takes 43 minutes for the light of the Sun to travel from the Sun to Jupiter.
- Jupiter has the shortest day in the Solar System. Jupiter makes a complete orbit around the Sun in about 12 Earth years (4,333 Earth days).
Source – The Hindu