Jupiter and three of its moons: Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa
Earth isn’t the only planet in the solar system to possess a moon. Jupiter, for instance, has a lot of them! The JUICE mission, to which the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy contributes through the hyperspectral imaging spectrometer MAJIS, will explore Jupiter and three of its largest moons: Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. These models are not to scale.
ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will embark on a 7.5-year-long journey to Jupiter in the year 2022, to investigate the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy participates in this mission with MAJIS, one of the instruments on board.
Earth is not the only planet in the solar system to possess a moon. Jupiter, for instance, has a lot of them! The European Space Agency’s JUICE mission (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) will embark on a 7.5-year cruise in the year 2022, in order to investigate the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) and the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) participate in this mission by characterizing the detectors of MAJIS, one of the instruments onboard. MAJIS is an instrument that is mainly developed by the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS) in France. It is a hyperspectral imaging spectrometer, allowing us to observe the characteristics of the magnetosphere, the tropospheric clouds and the minority species on Jupiter, as well as allowing us to characterize the ice and minerals on the surface of the icy moons. MAJIS will cover the wavelengths from visible to infrared with 2 measuring channels: VIS-NIR (from 0.45 µm to 2.35) and IR (from 2.25 µm to 5.54 µm), with spectral resolutions of respectively 3.66 nm and 6.51 nm. The typical spatial resolution will reach 75 m for an observation altitude of 500 km.
The mission will study the appearance of habitable worlds around gas giants, and the Jupiter system as an archetype of numerous giant planets..
This exhibition at the Royal Palace will let you discover a model of Jupiter with its three largest moons, as well as a European Space Agency film about the JUICE mission. BIRA-IASB and ROB contribute to the in-depth optical and electronics characterization of the detectors of the VIS-NIR measuring channel. To do so they are developing a calibration unit in their laboratories, allowing them to analyze the detectors’ performance in a vacuum and with temperatures corresponding to the environment of the space mission.
Pieter de Poortere
Boerke 3 / Dickie 3
Bries / Glénat, 2006