File photo of Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter and the largest moon in the solar system. (Credit: REUTERS)
There are FM radio signals coming from one of Jupiter’s moon. As we generally relate FM to radio, which in turn we connect with communication, chances are some people might see it as a proof of alien life. Are they trying to contact us through radio waves? Are they friendly? Are they dangerous?
Before someone starts to panic it should be notified that these radio waves aren’t exactly coming from a communication device of any super-intelligent alien life. It’s simply one of the non-living space phenomena.
The FM radio signals were picked up by a spacecraft called Juno. It was orbiting the gas giant when it detected the waves from Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s 79 moons. Previously, no activity or signal had ever been detected from this particular moon.
It’s not E.T.,” said Patrick Wiggins speaking to Fox. “It’s more of a natural function.” Wiggins is a NASA ambassador from Utah.
The signals mostly originated from electrons. As much as radio signals from extra-terrestrials would be exciting (or scary according to the hundreds of alien invasion movies from Hollywood), it is simply a natural phenomenon from a *probably* lifeless planet. There is a process called cyclotron maser instability. It is a process that can occur in electromagnetic fields. The process causes electrons within the whirl to oscillate much slower than their spin rate. As a result, all the electromagnetic and radio waves in the surrounding location can get amplified. This amplified frequency was thereupon picked by the spacecraft. Juno was moving through a region of Jupiter where magnetic field lines of the planet can connect with the Ganymede moon. This is where the signals were picked as well.
The same electrons that cause these radio signals can also be responsible for creating auroras in the far-ultraviolet spectrum. One such instance was captured by the cameras about Juno spacecraft.
In 2011, NASA sent a space probe named JUNO out into space. It was a part of NASA’s “New Frontiers Program.” The program consists of a series of missions where NASA aims to explore our entire solar system and strengthen our understanding of space.
The probe was aimed towards Jupiter in order to study the planet and discover more about how it was formed or how it evolved over time. It entered Jupiter’s orbit in 2016. According to the official website, Juno has some state of the art technology aboard and it will “observe Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, atmospheric dynamics and composition, and evolution.”
– In a First, NASA Craft Detects FM Signals Coming from Jupiter's Biggest Moon Ganymede
– FM Signal from Jupiter's Moon Ganymede Discovered by Juno Spacecraft! Doesn't Indicate Extraterrestrial Life, Says …
– NASA's Juno Spacecraft gets Mission Extended
– NASA's Juno mission expands into the future