The 21st century will forever define what humanity is truly capable of achieving. We have set foot on the moon, created the internet, eradicated diseases, and explored what was thought to be impossible to explore. Our solar system holds some of the largest secrets that are yet to be unearthed. From the mysterious Martian canyons to the glaciers on Europa, our solar system holds stories of why we are here, how we got here, and where do we go next.
Thanks to our advancing technology and understanding of our universe, we have been able to send various satellites to the vast unknown. On July 4, 2016, the Juno satellite finally went into the Jovian (or Jupiterian. Whichever you prefer) orbit after a challenging 5-year journey to the gas giant. It was a historic moment for not only the United States, but humanity as a whole.
Now that the spacecraft is in orbit, the time for exploration and question-answering has begun. The satellite will not officially begin tracking data until this upcoming October but it has been able to record a few things about the largest planet in the Solar System.
Jupiter’s Magnetic Field
The wave sensor on Juno has captured the so-called “Roar of Jupiter” as it entered its magnetic field. The magnetic field on Jupiter is so large that its radiation is millions of times larger than on Earth. If we were able to see it in the night sky, it would appear twice as big as a full moon as seen from Earth. The sounds are a bit eerie but are undeniably cool to listen to.
There is a certain point during the recording where the sound becomes louder and more intense. This change in sound and intensity was caused by a ‘bow shock’, the point where an object moves faster than the speed of sound. A ‘bow shock’ on Jupiter is equivalent to Earth’s sonic boom. This recording is only the beginning of what Juno will give us on the gas giant. You can listen to the recording here.