The American spacecraft Juno flew 1,046 kilometers from the surface of the moon Ganymede when it was able to record very important data.

Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, has long intrigued researchers. This is because it is a unique celestial body in the solar system: the only moon with its own magnetic field. In addition, indirect evidence suggests that the ocean may lie below the surface. If so, this could mean that life may exist in some form on the celestial body.

If you haven’t found this yet, there are other encouraging signs. NASA scientists have discovered salts and organic compounds on the surface of Ganymede. The measurement data comes from NASA’s Juno mission, which flew by the moon on June 7, 2021, about 1,046 kilometers from its surface, according to reports. Interesting geometry.

The maneuver allowed the JIRAM instrument to take infrared images of Jupiter’s moons. According to Scott Bolton, the principal scientist on the Juno Project, most of the salt and organic materials were found in the area protected by the celestial body’s magnetic field. The expert believes that ocean water that was deep at the surface could reach the surface one way or another, and the measurement showed the presence of remnants of that.


According to NASA, Juno made far better observations than any other telescope, achieving a coverage of 1.6 kilometers per pixel. In other words, the completed map is quite detailed. Thanks to this, the following materials were identified:

  • forget me,
  • ammonium chloride,
  • Sodium bicarbonate,
  • Aldehydes.

The presence of ammonium salts indicates that the materials on the moon’s surface are cold enough for ammonia to precipitate on them. Carbonates could be the remains of ice rich in carbon dioxide Nature astronomy In a study presented in the Journal of Commerce.

Ganymede’s magnetic field extends approximately to 40 degrees latitude, meaning that up to that point it protects the Moon from Jupiter’s magnetic field.

Mineral salts can be important in determining the geology of celestial bodies, while organic materials can reveal potential life beneath the surface.

The Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016. More data is expected from it in the future.

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