Space: the final frontier, the great unknown.
And a recent development from Jupiter’s moon Ganymede just made the “great unknown” even more mysterious.
In January, Salt Lake City’s KTVX-TV reported that NASA’s Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter crossed its polar region and discovered an FM radio signal coming from Ganymede, the largest of the planet’s 79 known moons.
This mysterious transmission appears to be the first recorded one from Ganymede, also the largest moon in our solar system.
In Jupiter’s polar region, the planet’s magnetic field lines connect to Ganymede, presenting the phenomenon more specifically known as a “decametric radio emission.”
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Here on Earth, it’s called Wi-Fi.
Since Juno orbits Jupiter so quickly, the spacecraft’s recorded emission lasted for only five seconds, according to KTVX.
But this isn’t the only emission documented from deep space.
Scientists reported radio emissions from Jupiter’s moons as far back as 1955 and since have sought to learn more about any behaviors these radio emissions exhibit.
Could radio emissions offer evidence of extraterrestrials?
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In 2016, NASA reported on the eerie sounds produced by Saturn’s radio emissions. Neptune and Uranus also offered evidence of radio emissions from planets in our solar system.
However, this is the first time scientists have recorded an FM signal from Ganymede, KTVX reported.
Though this growing number of radio emissions is fascinating, the breakthrough could signal that even more discoveries await us in deep space.
Some are sure to credit such spectacular phenomena to extraterrestrials. This time, however, the emissions offer no evidence of life beyond our planetary home.
“It’s not E.T. It’s more of a natural function,” Patrick Wiggins, one of NASA’s ambassadors to Utah, said, according to KTVX. “I do believe life is out there, but I’m still waiting for evidence to prove it.”
Ironically, this discovery comes during an arguable “second space race” between China and the United States.
But what do we each seek to prove with space exploration?
By reaching deeper into our galaxy and the galaxies beyond, we better understand ourselves, our origins, and the origins of the universe.
Space race or not, it calls us to pause and wonder.
Isn’t the universe great?
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