Science Findings

06.01.21

Juno Pelted by Dust as it Passes Through Jupiter’s Ring Plane

Dust grains impact with a speed of more than 70 km/s, creating a cloud of hot gas

The expanding gas cloud is ionized, so it upsets the electrical charge near Juno and excites Juno’s radio wave antennas.
Listen to dust hitting Juno

Orbiting dust grains from Jupiter’s rings detected as they slowly spiral into Jupiter’s atmosphere

• The dust impact rate increases to about a half-dozen impacts per second near the ring plane, equal to a density of a few thousand grains per cubic kilometer. 
• Dust is about the size of cigarette smoke particles. 
• The grains are likely falling out of Jupiter’s rings.

Credit: Ye, S.-Y. et al., 2020,
 J .Geophys Res., 125,6,  
doi.org/10.1029/2019JE006367

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