Fed2 Star - the newsletter for the space trading game Federation 2

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by ibgames

EARTHDATE: May 20, 2018

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by Hazed

In 1996 the spaceship Galileo made a flyby of Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter. Now 22 years later, scientists are re-examining the data collected as the probe flew past, and they are finding tantalizing new details.

Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, and the ninth largest object that orbits the sun. It has an ocean underneath its surface which potentially stores more water than exists on the Earth’s surface.

Galileo discovered on its first flyby that Ganymede has a magnetic shield – a surprise because it was thought only planets could generate and sustain one.

Now a study by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre is looking at the data collected by Galileo’s Plasma Subsystem, which measured the density, temperature and direction of plasma (that is, excited, electrically charged gas) flowing around Ganymede. This data has never been published before.

It shows that the magnetosphere is shaped by slow-moving plasma wafting around Jupiter and its satellites. This gives Ganymede’s magnetic field a strange shape, that extends ahead of the moon in the direction of its orbit.

This plasma also generates auroras on the moon which are extremely bright.

It’s incredible how much we can learn by examining data collected so long ago. It makes you wonder how much untouched data has been collected by the various missions through the years.

Source: https://gizmodo.com/forgotten-data-from-1996-sheds-new-light-on-jupiter-s-m-1825679486

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