Probe sent to Jupiter and or saturn?

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nopatience

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<br /><br />I was wondering if it was at all possible to send a probe into the atmosphere of Jupiter and or Saturn. <br /><br />And if so how would the probe have to funtion in order to complete scientific studies? what kind of materials and what kind of shape whould we need to use in the design of this probe?<br /><br />Hypothetically- what would we see if a probe was sent into the Jupiter atmosphere?<br /><br />Are there any theories about the use of such a probe?
 
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CalliArcale

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In 1995, a probe <i>was</i> sent into Jupiter's atmosphere. The Galileo Probe was released by the Galileo spacecraft in July of 1995, aimed directly at the giant planet while the spacecraft then altered its own trajectory slightly to prepare for Jupiter orbit insertion. In December, it slammed into Jupiter's atmosphere and used a heat shield and a parachute to drop down from 106,000 MPH to something more survivable, jettisoned the heat shield, and then took measurements as it fell deeper and deeper into Jupiter. In fifty-eight minutes it descended 146 km below the arbitrarily defined "surface" of Jupiter (defined as the point where the pressure is 1.0 bar). It took no pictures, but did have a lightning sensor. After fifty-eight minutes, it ceased transmitting, probably having succumbed to the heat. It is believed that the probe was ultimately melted and then vaporized. When the signal disappeared, the pressure was 22 times that of Earth at sea level, and the temperature was 153 C. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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nopatience

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wow! I had never heard about that probe.<br /><br />I was curious as to a sustained flight with cameras and other instruments. I'm interested in coasting the top of the storms and maybe a few layers down but avoiding the disasterous presures below. And of course cameras would be nice. maybe even a sustained shutter speed to capture the lighning. <br /><br />Are there any scientists who advocate this idea?
 
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nopatience

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thanks for the link. I knew I was asking the right people.
 
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nopatience

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<font color="yellow">It appeared that Jupiter's atmosphere is drier than we thought. Measurements from the probe showed few clouds, and lightning only in the distance. It was only later that we discovered that the probe had entered an area called a "hot spot." </font><br /><br />what are these hot spots? and was it a huge coincidence that we entered the hot spot?<br /><br />P.S. this gives me hope that the Cassini probe will do just fine!<img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br />
 
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CalliArcale

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It was a huge coincidence. There really wasn't a way to target the probe at an area of interest, since pretty much the entire planet would count as an area of interest. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />The probe carried by Cassini, incidentally, is not a Saturn atmospheric probe. It's actually intended to land on Titan, but there is so little known about Titan that it's almost a complete mystery what it'll find! It's almost like the first Venus landings -- Titan's very nearly a "black box" right now. The probe is called "Huygens". It will not be in communication for more than three minutes no matter what; that's when Cassini will disappear over Titan's horizon, not to return for months.<br /><br />Regarding possible future probes.....<br /><br />There are no current plans for atmospheric probes to gas giants, but there are lots of ideas. One idea is a balloon that would refuel itself from Jupiter's atmosphere (which, among other things, has a lot of hydrogen). Balloon probes have also been suggested for the other gas giants, and for more terrestrial worlds such as Venus, Titan, and Mars. The main problem is that there are lots of great ideas, and only so much time and money. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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