December 4 - December 10, 2000
Galileo Continues Survey of Jovian Magnetosphere
With about a month before its next encounter, Galileo completes another week of a 14-week long continuous survey of the Jovian magnetosphere. In addition, the spacecraft is playing back data from the survey which were recorded earlier in the survey period on Galileo's onboard tape recorder. One engineering activity is executed this week. On Thursday, the spacecraft performs a standard test on its gyroscopes.
Galileo's survey of the Jovian magnetosphere is being performed by its Fields and Particles instruments. The spacecraft's tape recorder is being used to ensure continuity of the data being gathered during the survey. Part of the reason these data are expected to be so useful is that they are part of dual-spacecraft observation campaign
together with instruments on the Cassini spacecraft. Currently, Cassini is approaching Jupiter, and is "upstream" in the solar wind. The joint flyby offers scientists a unique opportunity to examine data describing the solar wind, as captured by Cassini, and data describing the outer edges and interior of the Jovian magnetosphere, as captured by Galileo.
Galileo uses its tape recorder eight times this week to store survey data, and is able to play back data for approximately 80 hours (out of an available total of 168 hours).