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Screengrab via NASA Goddard/YouTube

Juno is collecting the most amazing sounds as it gets close to Jupiter

It's a Jupiter sonic boom!


Josh Katzowitz

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 2, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 12:37 pm CDT

NASA spacecraft Juno is just a few days away from getting close enough to Jupiter, hopefully to be swept into its orbit. The goal is for scientists to get a close-up view of the solar system’s largest planet. In the meantime, the ship is already sending back ultra-cool information.

It has nothing to do with any visual material Juno collected. It’s all about the aural qualities of Jupiter and it’s out of this world. All you have to do is listen to the psychedelic sounds of space.

As NASA explained, “NASA’s Juno spacecraft has crossed the boundary of Jupiter’s immense magnetic field. Juno’s Waves instrument recorded the encounter with the bow shock over the course of about two hours on June 24, 2016. ‘Bow shock’ is where the supersonic solar wind is heated and slowed by Jupiter’s magnetosphere. It is analogous to a sonic boom on Earth. The next day, June 25, 2016, the Waves instrument witnessed the crossing of the magnetopause. ‘Trapped continuum radiation’ refers to waves trapped in a low-density cavity in Jupiter’s magnetosphere.”

As CNBC points out, Juno has flown 1.7 billion miles during the last five years to reach this point. But on Monday, the ship’s engines will begin burning fuel to slow its velocity, which then will cause it to enter into Jupiter’s orbit.

“Juno is very special because it is one of those rare missions where it is entirely focused on looking inside Jupiter,” Curt Niebur, who is helping run the Juno mission, told CNBC. “…With the instruments and techniques we are using, we can unzip the planet and really peer inside it and understand what its deepest internal structure is.”

And now we know what music on Jupiter sounds like.

H/T Popular Science

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*First Published: Jul 2, 2016, 9:21 am CDT