NASA REPORTEDLY DETECTS SIGNAL COMING FROM ONE OF JUPITER’S MOONS

NASA’s Juno spacecraft detects FM radio signal coming from one of Jupiter’s moon

NASA recently extended the life of two of its planetary discovery missions, including the Juno mission to Jupiter. Now it’s come to light Juno has discovered an FM signal emanating from one of the gas giant’s moons, Ganymede.

Via Futurism:

NASA’s Juno space probe has made an exciting discovery in Jupiter’s orbit, according to a NASA ambassador: the small spacecraft reportedly detected an FM radio signal coming from the Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede.

It’s almost certainly a natural signal, the ambassador said.

“It’s not E.T,” Patrick Wiggins, one of NASA’s Ambassadors to Utah, told local Utah news station KTVX reports. “It’s more of a natural function.”

The intriguing blurb remains shrouded in mystery. No other outlet appears to have confirmed Wiggins’ remarks, and there doesn’t appear to be any scientific paper or press release that corresponds with Wiggins’ claims. Futurism has reached out to Wiggins and NASA for more details on the claim, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

The signal was likely caused by electrons oscillating at a lower rate than their spin, amplifying radio waves considerably, according to KTVX‘s reporting. The process, known as cyclotron maser instability (CMI), is also behind the auroras on Jupiter that by Juno observed in 2017.

In other words, the discovery didn’t come as a shock, especially considering they were picked up near Jupiter’s polar regions, where magnetic field lines connect to Ganymede.

We’ve known about this “decametric radio emission” emanating from Jupiter since the 1960s. On Earth, these signals roughly coincide with the Wi-Fi signals we use to surf the web, as ABC4 points out.

Via Fox News:

The discovery is not an indication of extraterrestrial life, but it is fascinating nonetheless, given it’s the first time it’s been discovered coming from the celestial satellite.

“It’s not E.T.,” Patrick Wiggins, one of NASA’s ambassadors to Utah, said in comments obtained by Fox 8 Cleveland. “It’s more of a natural function.”

Natural color view of Ganymede from the Galileo spacecraft during its first encounter with the satellite. North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the right. The dark areas are the older, more heavily cratered regions and the light areas are younger, tectonically deformed regions. (NASA/JPL)

Natural color view of Ganymede from the Galileo spacecraft during its first encounter with the satellite. North is to the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the right. The dark areas are the older, more heavily cratered regions and the light areas are younger, tectonically deformed regions. (NASA/JPL)

The spacecraft, which launched in 2011, happened to be traveling across Jupiter’s polar region at a speed of 111,847 mph when it crossed the radio source, known as a “decametric radio emission,” or simply Wi-Fi. It saw the radio emission for only five seconds, but it was enough time to confirm the source.

According to NASA, the decametric radio waves have frequencies between 10 and 40 MHz, but never above 40 MHz. “Electrons spiraling in Jupiter’s magnetic field are thought to be the cause of the radio noise we hear,” the space agency added.

Scientists have known about radio waves on Jupiter since the mid-1950s, but this is the first time the phenomenon has ever been seen emanating from Ganymede.

The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.

While notable, this is not the first time scientists have discovered strange occurrences on Ganymede. In 2018, researchers observed “extraordinary” electromagnetic waves, also known as “chorus waves,” thanks to the Galileo Probe spacecraft.

Jupiter’s moon Ganymede has long fascinated astronomers—as it is the largest of the planet’s moons. In 2015, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spotted evidence that Ganymede has an underground ocean.

Juno has made a number of discoveries about Jupiter, including capturing remarkable, never-before-seen images, as well as a “snow-white” oval storm.

The Juno mission launched in 2011 and was scheduled to stop functioning in July 2021 but will now continue until September 2025 or the end of its life, whichever comes first. Not only will Juno continue to observe the gas giant, but it will also look at the planet’s rings and its moons, including “close flybys” of Ganymede, Europa and Io.

Europa, the sixth-largest moon in the solar system, is home to an ocean that “could be habitable,” researchers have previosly said.

In August 2019, NASA confirmed it would send a mission to Europa to further explore the celestial body.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.