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This Week on Galileo?
October 16 - October 22, 2000
DOY 2000/290-296

Galileo's Radio Transmitter Uses Less Power than a Refrigerator Lightbulb

Did you know that Galileo's radio transmitter puts out about 20 watts of power? That is slightly less than the power of a refrigerator lightbulb. Nevertheless, the Deep Space Network's 70-meter (230-foot) diameter antennas are able to extract Galileo's spectacular science data from a signal which, when received on Earth amounts to only about one part in 10 to the 20th watt, in other words 0.00000000000000000001 watt. Impressive!

This is the second to last week Galileo dedicates to the return of data stored from previous encounters on its onboard tape recorder. The data returned this week was acquired during the spacecraft's February flyby of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io. Starting mid-next week, Galileo moves on to a campaign dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the Fields and Particles instruments' low-resolution survey of Jupiter's magnetosphere. Stay tuned for details!

Four observations are processed and transmitted to Earth this week. Playback is interrupted once. On Tuesday, the spacecraft performs a standard test of its attitude control system's gyroscopes. All four of this week's observations are returned by the Solid-State Imaging camera (SSI).

SSI's first observation consists of images of Tohil Mons, one of the mountains on Io. The origin, history, and geological structure of Tohil Mons and other mountains are not well known. These images will also be combined with an observation of the same region taken in October 1999 in order to produce stereo views.

Next, SSI returns portions of a color mosaic of Io's Prometheus volcanic region. This is followed by the return of portions of a 12-frame mosaic covering the Camaxtli Patera hot spot and nearby regions to the west, including the Chaac Patera region. This Chaac Patera coverage will also be combined with previous observations to produce stereo views. Last, but not least, SSI returns a small part of an observation consisting of color images of Io's Amirani volcanic region.

So, what's got Galileo halting the return of data two months before its next encounter? Come back next week for all the details!

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Last updated 10/16/00.

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