Moons

Pluto

NASA has published new images of the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon which reproduce with the greatest possible accuracy their natural colors. This processing celebrates the 3rd anniversary of the New Horizons space probe’s July 14, 2015 flyby, but also the 40th anniversary of the discovery of Charon, identified by the astronomer James Christy on June 22, 1978 and confirmed in the following days thanks to other observations.

Titan (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Nantes/University of Arizona)

NASA has published a series of 6 images of Titan, one of the moons of the planet Saturn, seen at infraredd by the Cassini space probe’s VIMS instrument. The images were created by combining observations conducted over the 13 years of the mission that were processed to compensate for the fact that they were made with a great variety of light conditions and viewing angle by Cassini.

Artitst's concept of Enceladus and Saturn (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Two articles published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters” describe studies concerning the planet Saturn’s system based on information obtained from the Cassini space probe during what was called the Grand Finale, the orbits close to Saturn performed in the weeks preceding the end of that extraordinary mission. In particular, the audio was generated that contains sound obtained by converting the electromagnetic emissions discovered between Saturn and its rings and Enceladus generated by movements of plasma between them.

Jupiter and its aurora

An article published in the journal “Science” describes a research on the influence shown on the aurorae at Jupiter’s poles by its moons Io and Ganymede. A team led by Alessandro Mura of the National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome, Italy, analyzed data collected in particular from the NASA’s Juno space probe’s JIRAM instrument, discovering that Io leaves a series of long traces in Jupiter’s aurorae while Ganymede leaves a double “shadow” in them.

Illustration of Jupiter, Europa, magnetic field lines and the Galileo space probe (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a new examination of data about Europa, one of the great moons of Jupiter, collected in 1997 by NASA’s Galileo space probe. A team of researchers used new computer models to interpret an anomaly in the magnetic field around Europa that had remained unexplained. The result of the new examination is that the anomaly was generated by plumes of water vapor containing various compounds, a new proof of their existence.