SETI [ASTRO] Galileo Update - June 14, 1999

Larry Klaes (
Tue, 15 Jun 1999 11:17:29 -0400

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender to owner-astro using -f >Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 23:19:56 GMT >From: Ron Baalke <> >To: >Subject: [ASTRO] Galileo Update - June 14, 1999 >Sender: >Reply-To: Ron Baalke <> > >MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE >JET PROPULSION LABORATORY >CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY >NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION >PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 > > > Galileo Europa Mission Status > June 14, 1999 > > Various scientific discoveries by NASA's Galileo spacecraft >have been reported recently. In one discovery, a cloud of >microscopic dust grains surrounding Jupiter's large moon Ganymede >has been found by Galileo's dust detector system. Scientists >believe this dust cloud is created when interplanetary meteoroids >slam into Ganymede's surface. The findings are featured in last >week's edition of the journal Nature. > > Scientists are also poring over intriguing findings about >surface temperatures on Jupiter's moon Europa gathered by >Galileo's photopolarimeter-radiometer, which measures temperature >and other traits of Jupiter's atmosphere, clouds and moons. The >information, published in the journal Science, reveals that while >Europa's daytime temperatures are as expected, its nighttime >temperatures are puzzling. At night, it appears the temperatures >vary considerably from place to place, in patterns not related to >geology or reflectivity of the surface. > > Spacecraft engineers are trying to find out why one of the >two channels on the photopolarimeter-radiometer showed little or >no signal during the recent flyby of Jupiter's pockmarked moon, >Callisto. The affected channel is used to measure temperatures of >Jupiter and its moons. > > Also in the most recent batch of data played back by Galileo >is an observation of Europa, taken while the icy moon was in >Jupiter's shadow. The observation was made by Galileo's near >infrared mapping spectrometer. There are also pictures of >cratered terrain that will help scientists calculate the age of >Callisto's surface, and other observations of the young Bran >crater, which offers a good view of Callisto's crust. > > The tape recorder playback will be paused twice this week. >On Tuesday, it will pause for a standard gyroscope performance >test and for a turn to keep the spacecraft antenna pointed toward >Earth. On Saturday, standard maintenance on Galileo's propulsion >system will be performed. > > Galileo's next destination is another flyby of Callisto on >June 29 at 11:47 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. The spacecraft has >been orbiting Jupiter and its moons for 3 years. Right now, the >spacecraft is more than halfway through a two-year extended >Galileo Europa Mission, a follow-on to the primary mission that >ended in December 1997. JPL manages the mission for NASA's Office >of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the >California Institute of Technolgy, Pasadena, CA. > > ##### >

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