Image of Jovian moon Ganymede was obtained by JunoCam during its June 7, 2021, flyby. NASA
Nasa has published the sounds of Jupiter’s flyby mission past the planet’s icy moon, Ganymede, one of the planet’s 79 known moons.
The 50-second audio clip was created using data captured by the Juno craft as it was passing by the moon on 7 June – travelling only 645 miles (1,038 kilometers) from the moon’s surface at a speed of 41,600 mph (67,000 kph). Juno has been orbiting the planet for five years so far.
The recording was conducted using the craft’s Waves instrument that captures electric and magnetic waves produced in the planet’s magnetosphere.
Nasa then shifted the frequency of the sounds so that they could be heard by humans.
“This soundtrack is just wild enough to make you feel as if you were riding along as Juno sails past Ganymede for the first time in more than two decades,” said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton.
“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.”
At the same time, researchers also produced the most detailed map of Jupiter’s magnetic field to date; this showed the change in the gas giant’s magnetic field over five days, and revealed that the planet’s Great Blue Spot is moving eastwards. It will lap the planet in 350 years.
The huge atmospheric anticyclone on the south of the planet’s equator, known as the Great Red Spot, is also moving – expected to circle the planet in just under five years.
Last October, it was found that the Great Red Spot is actually far deeper than scientists previously thought. While the force 500km deep, the jets that power it extend as far as 3,000km down.