New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: The largest moon in the solar system – Jupiter’s Ganymede – is all set to show earth’s creatures its first close-up in over 20 years on June 7. NASA’s Juno spacecraft is scheduled to come within 1,038 km to the surface of Ganymede, which is the largest natural satellite (moon) a planet has in our solar system.

The Juno spacecraft, after coming 1,038 km closer to Ganymede is expected to collect striking imagery of the moon while also gathering information on the moon’s composition, ionosphere as well as ice shell.

Juno carries a suite of sensitive instruments capable of seeing Ganymede in ways never before possible,” Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, was quoted as saying in NASA’s official statement.

“By flying so close, we will bring the exploration of Ganymede into the 21st century, both complementing future missions with our unique sensors and helping prepare for the next generation of missions to the Jovian system – NASA’s Europa Clipper and ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission,” the Principal Investigator added.

What makes Ganymede special?

According to NASA, along with being the largest natural satellite to a planet in the solar system, Ganymede is bigger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in the solar system with its own magnetosphere – a bubble-shaped region of charged particles surrounding the celestial body.


Further, Ganymede’s ice shell reportedly has some light and dark regions as observed in the Jovian moon’s previously collected images. According to NASA, this suggests that some areas on Ganymede have pure ice capable of supporting life forms whereas other areas contain ice. On Monday, NASA’s Juno mission will use three cameras, to capture as much as possible during the quick flyby around Ganymede.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan