April 2023 – WinStars 3

JUICE Launch: Exploring Jupiter’s Galilean Moons

On April 14, 2023, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) mission was launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket towards Jupiter’s natural satellites. The spacecraft will fly by Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede multiple times before entering orbit around Ganymede in December 2034 for an in-depth study that will conclude in September 2035.

The primary goal of the JUICE mission is to determine whether conditions favorable to life exist in the subglacial oceans that are believed to be present on these three Galilean moons. The objective is to study the characteristics of these oceans and understand their formation. In addition, the spacecraft will contribute to deepening our knowledge of Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The JUICE spacecraft weighs approximately 5.1 tons and uses large solar panels to generate its power. It carries nearly 285 kilograms of scientific instruments, including spectrometers to study the composition of the moons’ soil and atmosphere, a camera and an altimeter to map their surfaces, a radar to examine the superficial layers of the subsurface (including the ice crust and potential oceans), a radio experiment to deduce the celestial bodies’ internal structure, a magnetometer, and instruments to measure fields and particles to analyze the characteristics of the space environment.

The journey to Jupiter will take about seven and a half years, during which the spacecraft will perform several gravitational assist maneuvers to accelerate and adjust its trajectory. These maneuvers include flybys of Earth, Venus, and Mars, allowing JUICE to reach Jupiter in 2029.

The free downloadable “Juice” module allows you to track the probe’s trajectory until 2031 (for now).

Also worth checking out: this article published on the Freeappsforme website. Good luck to them!

Version 3.0.283: Improved representation of stars and removal of video mode

This new revision introduces a module (star3d) that enhances the appearance of stars by adding specific textures for each spectral type as well as 3D prominences. The representation is not entirely accurate from a scientific standpoint, as the visible surface of the stars and the prominences seem to combine different wavelengths. However, this adds just a bit of complexity.

Version 3.0.283 also removes the video mode, which has proven to be useless for most smartphones. Indeed, video sensors generally perform poorly in low light conditions and cannot detect stars in viewfinder mode. Moreover, this feature required overly intrusive permissions, such as access to the camera and microphone.