Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Jupiter’s Tiny Moon Amalthea | NASA Juno Mission

Jupiter’s Tiny Moon Amalthea | NASA Juno Mission

NASA’s Juno mission captured these views of Jupiter during its 59th close flyby of the giant planet on March 7, 2024. They provide a good look at Jupiter’s colorful belts and swirling storms, including the Great Red Spot. Close examination reveals something more: two glimpses of the tiny moon Amalthea.

With a radius of just 52 miles (84 kilometers), Amalthea has a potato-like shape, lacking the mass to pull itself into a sphere. In 2000, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft revealed surface features, including impact craters, hills, and valleys. Amalthea circles Jupiter inside Io’s orbit, which is the innermost of the planet’s four largest moons, taking 0.498 Earth days to complete one orbit.

Amalthea is the reddest object in the solar system, and observations indicate it gives out more heat than it receives from the Sun. This may be because, as it orbits within Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field, electric currents are induced in the moon’s core. Alternatively, the heat could be from tidal stresses caused by Jupiter’s gravity.

At the time that the first of these two images was taken, the Juno spacecraft was about 165,000 miles (265,000 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops, at a latitude of about 5 degrees north of the equator.

Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt made these images using raw data from the JunoCam instrument, applying processing techniques to enhance the clarity of the images.

More information about Juno is at: and 

For more about this finding and other science results, see:

Image Credits:

Image Data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Image Processing: Gerald Eichstädt

Release Date: May 13, 2024

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Jupiter #Planet #Moons #Amalthea #Moon #JunoMission #JunoSpacecraft #GalileoSpacecraft #SolarSystem #SpaceExploration #JPL #MSFC #SwRI #UnitedStates #CitizenScience #GeraldEichstädt #CitizenScientist #Infographic #STEM #Education

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