After a flyby of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, in 2021, Juno and a team of scientists have discovered the presence of mineral salts and organic compounds on the surface of the icy moon. The new findings will allow scientists to better understand where Ganymede came from and the composition of its deep subsurface ocean.
For planetary scientists and astrobiologists, Ganymede has long been of great interest, as the planet is theorized to house a massive ocean beneath its icy surface. Furthermore, scientists have been regularly performing spectroscopic observations of Ganymede and its surface features for decades to learn more about the composition of the moon as a whole. NASA’s Galileo mission, the joint NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLR) have all contributed to these spectroscopic observations and have even hinted at the presence of the salts and organic compounds Juno discovered with its recent flyby.