How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of Earth?

Juno is NASA’s space probe orbiter around the planet Jupiter. It is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The spacecraft was launched in 2011 and Juno entered a polar orbit of Jupiter in 2016.

Formation of the solar system

After the origin of the Sun, due to the nuclear fusion in its center wind-generated, that blows the gas and the dust particles in the solar system. The clouds of gas and dust collapsed and formed planets. The various planets were formed from the solar nebula. The inner solar nebula of certain planets was too hot to hold the gases. That is why it is composed of core, mantle, atmospheres. In the case of the outer solar nebula, temperatures were cool to hold the gases to accumulate. And that’s why the planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are made up of hydrogen, helium, ammonia, and methane. But the information about their core and mantle is yet to be revealed.

Purpose

Jupiter is the biggest planet of the solar system and it is also known as Gas Giant. Finding the origin of the planet may also reveal other information about the solar system. Juno was sent to analyze a brief theory about the formation of giant planets and also the role of the giant planets in building the solar system.

Findings

  • The most mass from the Sun has been taken by Jupiter. Juno analyzed the heavy elements which are no longer in Earth’s system but were present during the formation.
  • Due to far distance, the solar winds failed to blow away the hydrogen and helium on Jupiter.
  • The heavy atmospheric pressure made the hydrogen liquid and formed large oceans. It can play a crucial role to understand the formation of the earth.
  • The aurora emitted by Jupiter in the solar system has been studied.
  • The impact of the magnetic field of Jupiter on its moons may help to find the understanding of other planets with their moons.
  • It provided the data on the amount of water in Jupiter’s atmosphere.
  • It found water makes up about 0.25% of Jupiter’s atmospheric molecule.

At present, Juno is still in operation and it has been continuing its studies about the giant planet and sending valuable information to the earth.

Question for UPSC Mains:
How does the Juno Mission of NASA help to understand the origin and evolution of Earth? (150 words)

Published: October 30, 2017 | Modified:September 1, 2020

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