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Specifically, Juno will…
Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.
The Juno spacecraft is scheduled to launch aboard an Atlas V-551 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in Aug. 2011, reaching Jupiter in July 2016. The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter 32 times, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the planet's cloud tops, for approximately one year.
Juno's scientific payload includes:
A gravity/radio science system
A six-wavelength microwave radiometer for atmospheric sounding and composition
A vector magnetometer
Plasma and energetic particle detectors
A radio/plasma wave experiment
An ultraviolet imager/spectrometer
An infrared imager/spectrometer
The spacecraft will also carry a color camera to provide the public with the first detailed glimpse of Jupiter's poles.
Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.
While the spacecraft itself is about the size of a Volkswagen and encased in a protective radiation vault, its three solar panels that will unfurl in space will make the spinning spacecraft more than 65 feet in diameter.