Jupiter

Smithsonian Magazine - - Shadows Of The Civil War -

roots of am­mo­nia and wa­ter that ex­tend hun­dreds of miles deep. At the north and south poles, sci­en­tists were amazed to find cy­clones packed like cin­na­mon buns—six at the north pole, nine at the south—all spin­ning the same di­rec­tion.

They also found that Jupiter’s mag­netic field is about twice as strong as sci­en­tists ex­pected. And un­like Earth’s mag­netic field—which arises from our planet’s core—Jupiter’s is sur­pris­ingly un­even between its poles. Bolton and oth­ers guess that just below the at­mos­phere, hy­dro­gen is be­hav­ing like a metal, spark­ing part of Jupiter’s mag­netism. Clues like th­ese will lead to a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how plan­ets form.

Bolton, who is also an as­so­ciate vice pres­i­dent of the non­profit South­west Re­search In­sti­tute, over­sees the Juno sci­en­tists who gather data as well as the engi­neers who con­trol the space­craft. “He has been an out­stand­ing leader, and it’s not an easy job,” says David Steven­son, a se­nior Cal­tech the­o­rist who has wit­nessed decades of so­lar sys­tem ex­plo­ration. “He has this won­der­ful com­bi­na­tion of lead­er­ship and sci­en­tific knowl­edge that mo­ti­vates the mis­sion.”

Bolton has also in­volved the pub­lic in ground­break­ing ways. Juno’s web­site pub­lishes raw im­ages for cit­i­zen sci­en­tists to crop, color-cor­rect and col­lage. Bolton’s friends in the mu­sic in­dus­try— rang­ing from the in­dus­trial mu­si­cian Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails to the Greek com­poser Van­ge­lis—have also boosted Juno’s pop­u­lar ap­peal, cre­at­ing Juno-re­lated songs and film scores.

It’s a Re­nais­sance ap­proach Bolton finds deeply re­ward­ing. Af­ter all, he points out, Galileo was an ac­com­plished lute player be­fore he ob­served Jupiter’s ma­jor moons. Three of those satel­lites have 1:2:4 har­mon­ics: Every time Ganymede or­bits Jupiter, Europa or­bits twice and Io four times. Juno’s cam­era cap­tured this ce­les­tial res­o­nance for the first time and pre­sented it to the pub­lic in a time-lapse video that’s been viewed more than two mil­lion times. “The in­no­va­tion comes from the com­bi­na­tion of an­a­lytic and cre­ative thought,” Bolton says. “You couldn’t do Juno un­less you had both halves of that.”

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