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Old September 7th, 2017, 07:42 AM   #1
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Juno on Jupiter: The data’s telling us our ideas are all wrong

Nobody does space exploration like our NASA.

Since NASA’s Juno mission began orbiting Jupiter and sending data back to Earth last July, Juno scientists have all sounded pretty alike: They are very excited, and very confused.

“Almost nothing is as we anticipated,” Juno’s principal investigator Scott Bolton told WIRED in May. “But it’s exciting that Jupiter is so different than we assumed.”

“The data’s telling us our ideas are all wrong,” says Randy Gladstone, lead investigator of Juno’s ultraviolet spectrograph. “But that’s fun.”

“It’s a real mystery,” says Barry Mauk, lead investigator of Juno’s Jupiter energetic particle detector instrument (yes, they call it Jedi). “It’s thrilling to be part of this mission.”

What exactly is so baffling and invigorating about Jupiter? The simple answer is everything: Juno’s data has defied conventional scientific wisdom with everything from the color of its poles to the bizarre fluctuations in its gravity and magnetic field strength. But today in particular, Jupiter’s source of scientific wonder is its incredibly powerful auroras, which ceaselessly whirl around the storm-torn gas giant. And they aren’t just challenging expectations—they’re sticking it to the Earthly laws of physics.
More: https://www.wired.com/story/jupiters...rthly-physics/
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