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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Juno Takes on Solar System's Heavyweight
27 July 2011 2:19 pm
At 318 times the mass of Earth and more than twice the mass of all the other planets combined, Jupiter is the undisputed master of the solar system. But no spacecraft has ever gotten close enough to the gas giant to probe deep beneath its colorful cloud tops to decipher how the planet came together. NASA's $1.1-billion Juno spacecraft, to be launched on 5 August, will go deep, very deep. Coming as close as 5000 kilometers to the 140,000-kilometer-diameter gas ball, Juno and it's gravity-gauging system should measure the mass of any rocky core at the center of Jupiter. Whether it has a core massive enough to have pulled in all its gas is the central question in the debate over how Jupiter formed. Other instruments will measure water and different key chemical components, probe the inner workings of the powerful magnetic field, monitor charged particles driving the solar system's brightest auroras, and, of course, return some stunning close-up color images. Planetary scientists are going to have hold their breath a bit, however: Juno will not arrive at Jupiter until August 2016.
See more ScienceShots.