Juno reaches Jupiter’s magnetosphere

NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s magnetosphere and recorded what it sounds like:

Juno’s Waves instrument recorded the encounter with the “bow shock” over the course of about two hours on June 24, 2016.”Bow shock” is where the supersonic solar wind is heated and slowed by Jupiter’s magnetosphere.

It is analogous to a sonic boom on Earth.The next day, June 25, 2016, the Waves instrument witnessed the crossing of the magnetopause. “Trapped continuum radiation” refers to waves trapped in a low-density cavity in Jupiter’s magnetosphere.

Jupiter’s magnetosphere is enormous: the largest structure in the solar system, says NASA:

“If Jupiter’s magnetosphere glowed in visible light, it would be twice the size of the full moon as seen from Earth,” said William Kurth of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, lead co-investigator for the Jupiter Waves investigation.

“And that’s the shorter dimension of the teardrop-shaped structure; the dimension extending outward behind Jupiter has a length about five times the distance between Earth and the sun.”

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