Election 2016

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Will Soon Be in Jupiter’s Grip

nytimes.com“One of the primary goals of Juno is to learn the recipe for solar systems,” said Scott Bolton, a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio who is the principal investigator for the $1.1 billion mission. “How do you make the solar system? How do you make the planets in our solar system?”

Jupiter is the titan among planets called the “gas giants,” with more than three times the mass of Saturn, the next largest. But it is far more than a bland ball of hydrogen and helium.

What particularly piques scientists’ interest are the small amounts of heavier elements like lithium, carbon and nitrogen.

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