back to article Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

Scientists were expecting a lot of new data from the Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter, and they haven't been disappointed. The most massive planet in the Solar System is turning out to have a lot of surprises. In a press conference on Thursday, NASA engineers and astrophysicists detailed the first science results from the …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Interplanetry science

    For the win!

  2. Big-nosed Pengie

    "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

    I understand that a slider is a type of hamburger, but wtf is a knuckleball?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

      I'll assume you're not trolling... Both are terms in American baseball for two distinct types of pitches.

      If trolling, a knuckleball something on the kinky side in certain parts of the world? The outcome is always unpredictable.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

        "I'll assume you're not trolling... Both are terms in American baseball for two distinct types of pitches"

        NASA uses a phrase incomprehensible to much of the remaining English-speaking world. So much for science communication.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

          "I'll assume you're not trolling... Both are terms in American baseball for two distinct types of pitches"

          NASA uses a phrase incomprehensible to much of the remaining English-speaking world. So much for science communication.

          "It's just not cricket" as I said to the chap at silly mid on while I was at square leg. Then the bowler delivered a chinaman and the striker was LBW. At that point the heavens opened and in the end it was all down to the Duckworth-Lewis method.

          British sporting metaphors are so much more understandable.

          1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

            Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

            I tried combining a quick knuckleball with the Duckworth-Lewis method once and my double-entendre bone took weeks to recover ... :-)

          2. graeme leggett

            Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

            Perhaps Game of Thrones metaphors.

            Jupiter throws out not only a 'Red Wedding' but a 'The Winds of Winter' as well....

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

        I believed Jupiter threw bolts, not balls...

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          I believed Jupiter threw bolts, not balls...

          By Jove, you're right.

          1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: I believed Jupiter threw bolts, not balls...

            @ Stoneshop

            I think the quote is: By Jove, she's got it.

        2. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

          "I believed Jupiter threw bolts, not balls..."
          Metric or AF?

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

      I assume any US English I don't understand (or indeed British English) is to do with sport.

      Great Boffinry by NASA.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

        I assume any US English I don't understand (or indeed British English) is to do with sport.

        Sport, or guns / the military.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: sport ... or guns / the military.

          Well, I know much less about sport than military or weapons.

          I'm pretty sure you only shout Fire! at an archer if he's spontaneously combusting.

  3. et tu, brute?
    Alien

    Sadly no black monolith found

    Not yet!

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Sadly no black monolith found

      Duh, we have to find the sentinel on the Moon first!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a complex atmosphere that is going to take years to understand

    Since they don't understand earth's atmosphere yet I would change the 'years' to decades because that would be nearer the mark.

  5. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Sadly no black monolith found

    That's what they want you to think.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sadly no black monolith found

      No, there's an orange one though. With, it's not quite that spelling ...

  6. Mud5hark

    "Juno swoops to about 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) from the top of Jupiter's atmosphere and sends back around 6MB of data with each pass." 6MB! Wow. They'll be sending pictures next.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Sadly NASA wimped out and decided not to let Juno unroll an Ethernet cable behind it. Very short-sighted.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Ethernet

        Even 10B5 has a length limit of 500m (3.615 brontosauri), which would require adding a rather large pile of repeaters, and powering them.

        They probably went for ADSL, and subcontracted to BT for the copper.

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Trollface

        "Sadly NASA wimped out and decided not to let Juno unroll an Ethernet cable behind it. Very short-sighted."

        They would have, but they keep all their stock coiled up around Saturn these days...

  7. Mud5hark

    6MB

    Methinks it is a mistake....

    "Due to telecommunications constraints, Juno will only be able to return about 40 megabytes of camera data during each 11-day orbital period. This downlink average data rate of around 325 bits per second will limit the number of images that are captured and transmitted during each orbit to somewhere between 10 and 1000 depending on the compression level used"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JunoCam

    6GB more likely. 40Meg of camera data but much more of other stuff.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: 6MB

      325 bits/second is 28Mbit/day, or 38Mbyte per 11 days.

      It's roughly the speed of my first modem, and three times as fast as an ASR33. The BBC B could easily cope with that datastream, you'd just need about four days worth of audio cassettes to save the data from a single orbit.

      1. Naselus
        Joke

        Re: 6MB

        Also, roughly the rate you can expect to actually receive from a 70 Megabit connection from any UK telcom.

    2. cray74

      Re: 6MB

      Due to telecommunications constraints, Juno will only be able to return about 40 megabytes of camera data during each 11-day orbital period.

      Isn't Juno stuck in a 22-day orbital period because of thruster malfunction? If so, it should be able to deliver more data per pass, correct?

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: 6MB

        https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-juno-mission-to-remain-in-current-orbit-at-jupiter

        "NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission."

        1. cray74

          Re: 6MB

          will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission."

          Thank you, my Google Fu was weak today. Lazy, rather. Would the longer orbit give more time to transmit data home and thus allow more than 6MB to be delivered per orbit?

  8. gnasher729 Silver badge

    "Sadly no black monolith found"

    If you read a bit further in the sequels of the story, it's "Fortunately no black monolith found".

    1. BoldMan

      Re: "Sadly no black monolith found"

      Better than the Rama sequels (shudder)

      1. Chris 239

        Re: "Sadly no black monolith found"

        Indeed, Clarke went off the rails a bit there, I so enjoyed the first Rama book then the rest just made no sense at all.

  9. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Sadly no black monolith found

    The Dwellers have hidden it.

  10. Mike Richards

    Don't forget JUNO's crew

    Three LEGO Minifigs are right now orbiting Jupiter.

    I like to think Lester would be proud of NASA for that reason alone:

    http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-080411a.html

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Go

    Astonishing science

    People wonder what's the point of going to these other planets. One use is to calibrate the General Circulation Models used in Earth weather modelling with those of Jupiter, Mars and Venus.

    They are all planets and a really good model should work everywhere, provided the right parameter values are inserted.

    Best news. You'd never have trouble with a compass not working. OTOH the radiation will cook you. Incidentally I'd doubt the Earth's magnetic field is quite at constant as people think, given that Magnetic Anomaly Detection is a tool of geophysicists for detecting ore bodies (and the occasional nuclear submarine)

    I look forward to the first probe powered by one of the Kilopower nuclear reactor systems (or KRUSTY) which should allow ion thrusters to be used to get there then increase the data rate a fair bit.

    1. tfb Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Astonishing science

      Worth mentioning in this context that people do actually use GCMs to model the atmospheres of other planets (ie this is not just a 'we could do this in theory' thing). The stuff I knew about was expolanets, but you are completely right that modelling other planets in the Solar system is particularly good as we can get good actual data with which to compare the models.

      (I am sure OP knows this: I'm just putting this here for other people.)

    2. Axman

      Re: Astonishing science

      > "People wonder what's the point of going to these other planets" <

      If I wrote a dictionary my definition of imbecile would be "Anybody who wonders what's the point of going to these other planets"

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