On July 17th, 11am-4pm, Leicester planetary scientists Dr. Tom Stallard and Dr. Henrik Melin were live-streaming observations of Ganymede as it passed over the face of Jupiter, using telescopes on the summit of Maunakea, Hawaii.
This observation is expected to give us vital new insights into how Jupiter’s extreme upper atmosphere changes as the planet rotates from day to night. We have no way to measure the night side from Earth, and the measurement would also be very difficult from the Juno spacecraft, currently in orbit around Jupiter. Unlike at Earth, where lunar eclipses last only a few minutes, the darkness of Ganymede’s shadow envelops a small part of Jupiter for over an hour – we observed this region for more than three hours, allowing us to see Jupiter’s ionosphere in darkness for the first time.
This event was hosted by the Royal Astronomical society, and included Q&A activities, and a talk by Prof. Emma Bunce on the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. You can catch up with the full stream on Youtube: