“Juno: Revealing Jupiter’s Interior” – NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter: What’s Inside the Giant Planet?

Dr. Fran Bagenal


Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars. With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter's intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet's auroras. Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system. NASA’s JUNO mission was launched in August 2011 and starts orbiting over Jupiter’s poles on July 14, 2016. JUNO carries instruments that will probe Jupiter’s deep interior and measure the amount of water — a key component of solar system evolution. JUNO is the first spacecraft to fly over Jupiter’s aurora and will measure both the energetic particles raining down on the planet and the bright “northern & southern lights” they excite.


Dr. Fran Bagenal is professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder and is co-investigator and team leader of the plasma investigations on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Juno mission to Jupiter. Her main area of expertise is the study of charged particles trapped in planetary magnetic fields. Dr. Bagenal received her bachelor degree in Physics and Geophysics from the University of Lancaster, England, and her doctorate degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences from MIT in 1981. She spent five years as a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College, London, before returning to the United States for research and faculty positions in Boulder, Colorado. She has participated in many of NASA's planetary exploration missions, including Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, Deep Space 1, New Horizons and Juno.


Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 16:00