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This Week on Galileo?
This Week on Galileo
February 5 - February 11, 2001
DOY 2001/36-42

The conclusion of Galileo's collaboration with the Cassini spacecraft

This week sees the conclusion of Galileo's collaboration with the Cassini spacecraft. On Monday, the spacecraft's Fields and Particles instruments (Dust Detector, Energetic Particle Detector, Heavy Ion Counter, Magnetometer, Plasma Detector, and Plasma Wave instruments) stop collecting continuous data. At the start of the campaign, which began in late October of last year, the Galileo spacecraft was preparing to enter Jupiter's magnetosphere, the region of space which is dominated by Jupiter's magnetic field. The Cassini spacecraft was approaching Jupiter, but was still out in the 'upstream' solar wind, a region dominated by streams of protons, electrons, and magnetic fields flowing outward from the Sun. By comparing the measurements made by the two spacecraft, one inside and one outside the magnetosphere, it will be possible to see how changes in the solar wind have an influence on the structure of the Jupiter magnetic environment. This has been a truly unique opportunity to study this interaction at a major outer planet by two spacecraft simultaneously.

Though the full collaborative effort with Cassini has concluded, and Galileo once again is back outside the magnetosphere and in the solar wind, the Galileo Magnetometer and Dust Detector instruments will still be collecting data about the Jupiter environment, to study the long-term history and changes. Surprises are always possible, so it's a good idea to keep our ears open!

Also on Monday, Galileo begins to play back data that were stored on the on-board tape recorder during the last close satellite flyby of Ganymede in late December. First up will be some of the Fields and Particles data that were collected in mid-December when communication with the ground in real-time was not possible. This should complete Galileo's contribution to the Cassini collaboration leading up to our flyby. Next come data from our closest approach to Ganymede on December 28. The report "Today on Galileo - December 28, 2000", available off the Galileo home page, describes these closest approach and chorus observations as they were made.

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Last updated 10/01/01.

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