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Pioneer to Jupiter

Second Exploration

Pioneer Encounters Jupiter

Pioneer to Jupiter 3

Pioneer Project Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Pioneer History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Pioneer 10 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Jupiter’s Interior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Jupiter’s Atmosphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Jupiter’s Clouds and Heat Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Jovian Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
The Great Red Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Jupiter’s Ionosphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Jupiter’s Moons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Magnetic Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Radiation Belts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Bow Shock Wave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Magnetosphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Jupiter as a Radiation Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Pioneer 11 Mission Trajectory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Saturn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Planetary Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Satellite Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Discovery of Jupiter’s 13th Moon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
The Asteroid Belt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Origin of the Solar System and Universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Solar System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Age of the Solar System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Milky Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
The Universe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Choosing a Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Pioneer Ground Data System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Launch Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Pioneer 11 Encounter Time Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Pioneer Plaque . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Pioneer Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Magnetic Fields Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Plasma Analyzer Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Charged Particle Composition Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Jovian Charged Particles Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Cosmic Ray Energy Spectra Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Jovian Trapped Radiation Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Ultraviolet Photometry Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Imaging Photopolarimetry Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Jovian Infrared Thermal Structure Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Asteroid Meteoroid Astronomy Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Meteoroid Detection Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Jovian Magnetic Fields Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
S-Band Occultation Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Celestial Mechanics Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Conversion Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Launching Pioneer 10
Pioneer to Jupiter 5


The Pioneer Project, managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, has been one of the most beneficial space
exploration programs in United States history. The program has never veered from its objective to increase the basic knowledge of our solar
system so that future generations will be better able to deal with the problems here on Earth.
While there is reason to believe that most of the large components of the solar system were created at about the same time, some five to ten
billion years ago, it is not yet clear how the planets came to be so different. By gaining an insight into the factors responsible for those
differences, scientists hope to achieve a better understanding of Earth and the universality of physical laws that can be applied to new proc-
esses on Earth.
Helping in this quest for basic scientific knowledge, the Pioneer spacecraft act as an extension of our senses in seeking knowledge to be
used to the greater benefit of mankind.
Currently, the Pioneer Project has six spacecraft operating in deep space. Four of these, Pioneers 6, 7, 8 and 9, are orbiting the Sun acting
as a solar network of monitoring stations. Pioneer 10, however, which made its historic flyby of Jupiter last December, is racing through
unexplored space and will eventually be the first man-made object ever to leave the solar system. Pioneer 11 continues toward its
rendezvous with Jupiter, and with a gravitational assist from the planet, will continue on to Saturn.

The Pioneer Program began in 1958 when Pioneer 1 was launched to a record altitude of 70,700 miles and returned 43 hours of data. Within
five months, four more Pioneers were launched, each achieving its own mark of success. Pioneer 5 was the first of the series to attain solar orbit.
Pioneer is one of the most efficient programs in terms of science data returned per dollar invested. Pioneers 6, 7, 8 and 9 are still operating
as a network of solar monitors and interplanetary investigators as they orbit the Sun.
Each designed to operate six months in space, the Pioneer 6 through 9 spacecraft have long exceeded that life expectancy and have given
the United States an unexpected national asset.
Pioneer 6, the first in the series, was launched in December 1965 and orbits the Sun elliptically between 0.814 AU and 0.985 AU. (AU
stands for Astronomical Unit and is the distance from Sun to Earth – 93 million miles.) Pioneer 6 takes 311.3 days to orbit the Sun.
Pioneer 7, launched in August 1966, has an orbit just outside the Earth (1.010 AU to 1.125 AU) and gets around the Sun every 402.9 days.
Pioneer 8 orbits between 1.0 AU and 1.1 AU – very close to Earth’s orbit – and takes 387 days to circuit the Sun. It was launched in
December 1967.
The last of the solar orbiters in the series, Pioneer 9, was launched in November 1968 and moves around the Sun each 297.5 days, having
an orbit about three-fourths that of Earth (0.75 AU to 1.0 AU).
The mission of the Pioneer 6 through 9 series is to acquire data on the solar wind, energy particles, and the magnetic and electric fields
radiating outward from the Sun toward Earth. By doing so, they act as a warning system of solar disturbances.
These warnings are supplied to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Disturbance Forecast Center in Boulder,
Colorado, which issues them to about 100 primary users. These include the Federal Aviation Agency, commercial airlines, power
companies, communications organizations, and organizations doing electronic prospecting, surveying, and navigation.
Geomagnetic storms from the Sun have always caused problems for equipment dependent on a stable magnetic field. There is evidence that
solar storms have disrupted electric power utility systems, especially in the northern latitudes. As these utility operations become more
geographically dispersed and require larger interconnected power networks, the disruptions could cause even greater problems.
The Pioneer solar weather stations provide up to two weeks’ warning on the effects of solar activity on Earth, thereby giving power
companies a chance to prepare for them and minimize their effects.
It is assumed the data gathered by the Pioneers will help us improve our ability to predict and even control certain aspects of our terrestrial
environment. U.S. weather scientists have statistical correlations between solar disturbances, and the frequency and intensity of Earth
storms. Even earthquakes are believed to be directly related to solar activity.
Already a wealth of information has been produced from the study of data returned by the Pioneers. Scientists now have a better idea of
the functions of the magnetosphere which shields the Earth from high energy solar particles. A measurement of cosmic dust populations
has revealed that the spatial density of micrometeorites is considered low enough to pose no hazard to missions in this region of space. Data
on the changes in the electrical and magnetic characteristics of the Sun’s corona are being studied, as are other solar phenomena being
explored by the Pioneers.
6 Pioneer to Jupiter

Pioneer Begins A Long Journey

Pioneer to Jupiter 7

The most famous Pioneer to date has of course been Pioneer 10, which flew past Jupiter in early December 1973. A wealth of information
was received from that dramatic flight, much of which is still being studied and scrutinized. (See Data Processing section of this document.)
The information that has been analyzed gives us a new picture of Jupiter which supports some theories and contradicts others we have had
about the giant planet. The following description of Jupiter is based on data from Pioneer 10.

Jupiter’s Interior
Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, is made up almost entirely of liquid hydrogen, and may have a small rocky core thousands of
miles below its heavily clouded atmosphere. Even with its enormous internal pressures of millions of atmospheres, Jupiter is just too hot
to solidify.
Unlike Earth, Jupiter shows no rigid crust or other concentration of solid mass areas. The planet is in a hydrostatic equilibrium. However,
the gravity analysis, which is not yet complete, may show Jupiter to have a small rocky core, perhaps containing some iron.
There is a dramatic rise in temperature and pressure as one goes deeper into the planet. At the transition zone to liquid, some 600 miles
below the top of the atmosphere, the temperature is calculated to be 3,600 degrees F. At approximately 1,800 miles down, where the
pressure is 90,000 Earth atmospheres, the temperature increases to 10,000 degrees F. At this point, the weight of the Jovian atmosphere has
compressed the hydrogen into a liquid about one quarter the density of water.
At 15,000 miles below the top of the atmosphere, the 20,000 degrees F temperature and the pressure of three million atmospheres
compresses the liquid hydrogen into a liquid metallic hydrogen.

Interior of Liquid Jupiter

Planet is mainly hydrogen

The temperature at the center of the planet is calculated to be about 54,000 degrees F, which is about six times the temperature on the surface
of the Sun.
Looking at these temperatures from the center outward, we see that Jupiter loses heat at a tremendously rapid rate, with temperatures
decreasing steadily from 54,000 degrees F to perhaps 10 degrees F at a point somewhat below the cloud tops. This means Jupiter radiates
two to three times more heat than it receives from the Sun.
8 Pioneer to Jupiter

The tremendous internal heat of Jupiter is believed to be primordial heat left over from the planet’s formation. This high heat of formation
is confirmed by Pioneer measurements of Io and Europa, the closest of the large moons, which are rocky and unlike the planet-sized “ice”
moons lying farther out. It is thought that a hot primordial Jupiter radiated enough heat to prevent water vapor from condensing into ice
during formation of Io and Europa.
An alternative explanation for the high internal heat is that it is energy released by the fractionation of hydrogen and helium, a process
believed to be currently under way somewhere near the center of the planet.
Pioneer data indicating that Jupiter’s magnetic field is tilted and displaced from the center of the planet supports the theory that the planet
is a huge, flattened, fast-spinning ball of liquid hydrogen.
Jupiter’s field, like Earth’s, is believed to result from a dynamo effect caused by eddies within the liquid interior that generate electric
currents and, hence, magnetic fields. Only a planet with a tremendously active interior could produce a magnetic field as far offset from its
center as Jupiter’s.
Jupiter’s hot, churning interior sends heat up to the surface through convective currents that circle and eddy their way from the center of the
planet to the top of the atmosphere, moving as fast as 1,500 miles per year. These currents take up to 50 years to cover the 44,000 miles
from the planet center to the atmosphere.
This rapid convection of heat is reflected in the constant rise and fall of the atmosphere. This is seen as the prominent, semi-permanent
features in the planet’s clouds. The striking white ovals are rising atmosphere surrounded by darker borders of descending atmosphere.

Jupiter Atmosphere Model*

Atmosphere depth to liquid zone is 1,000 km (600 mi)

Jupiter’s Atmosphere
Accounting for about one per cent of the planet’s total mass, Jupiter’s atmosphere is 600 miles deep and consists primarily of hydrogen and
helium gas and some very small amounts of other elements.
Pioneer calculations put the ratio of hydrogen to helium in the upper atmosphere at about 80 per cent to 20 per cent, with less than one per
cent for all the other elements. This is similar to the ratio of elements found in the Sun.
Pioneer to Jupiter 9

Jupiter’s Clouds and Heat Balance

Jupiter’s clouds are believed to be made up of four distinct layers. Ammonia ice crystals, measured from Earth, are believed to form the top
of Jupiter’s clouds. Below this are red-brown clouds, probably of ammonia hydrosulfide crystals, and below that, water ice crystals. Still
lower, liquid water droplets containing ammonia in solution may be present. However, water, it must be noted, has never been observed.
The Pioneer 10 infrared experiment indicates the topmost cloud layer of ammonia ice crystals to be at a level where pressure would be 700
millibars and temperature at -184 degrees F. This is the temperature / pressure combination at which ammonia would condense out. The
transparent outer atmosphere about the clouds is believed to contain some ammonia, plus some well-mixed methane.
Eight miles above the cloud tops, at the 300 millibar pressure level, the temperature falls to -229 degrees F. Farther out a haze of ammonia
crystals may exist, extending up to a layer where solar heat is absorbed by the atmospheric methane. This would produce an inversion layer
in which the atmosphere is warmer. The inversion layer appears to be 21 miles above the visible clouds at a pressure level of 100 millibars
(1/10th of an Earth atmosphere) and a temperature of -247 degrees F.
Still higher, there appears to be a haze layer of aerosols and hydrocarbons (such as ethane and acetylene, recently identified from Earth)
which also may absorb sunlight and heat the atmosphere.
By some interpretations, Pioneer 10’s infrared and radio occultation experiments do not agree on temperature levels at the top of the atmosphere.
If the occultation findings are correct, the cloud regions and zones of Earth-like temperature may be far higher than believed near the very top of
the atmosphere, or else estimates of the amount of ammonia in Jupiter’s atmosphere may have to be revised downward drastically.
However, several other calculations place the clouds at about 150 miles below the atmosphere top. The difference may be resolved through
further analysis or eventually by sending a probe into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
Jupiter’s atmosphere is somewhat warmer near the equator than at the poles, though there are warm belts near the poles. The temperatures
are the same in the northern and southern hemispheres and on the day and night sides of the planet.
The cloud particles in the cloud tops in both the light and dark zones tend to be smaller than those in the Earth’s cumulo-stratos clouds. In
both belts and zones, the cloud particles tended to be very reflective indicating either ice particles or shiny droplets.

Jovian Weather
Jupiter’s 17 relatively permanent belts and zones appear to be comparable to the continent-spanning cyclones and anti-cyclones which
produce most of the weather in the Earth’s temperature zones. On both planets these phenomena are huge regions of rising or falling
atmospheric gas, powered by the Sun. (And in Jupiter’s case, also by its internal heat source.)
On Earth, huge masses of warm light gas rise to high altitudes, cool off, get heavier, and then roll down the sides of new rising columns of
gas. General direction of this atmospheric heat flow on Earth is from the tropics toward the poles.
Coriolis forces, produced by planetary rotation, cause the descending gas, which would normally move north or south, to flow around the
planet west to east. On Earth the unstable flow converts this west-east motion into the enormous spirals known as cyclones and
These coriolis forces are very strong on Jupiter because of the 22,000 mph equatorial rotation of the planet. Because of the same instabilities
that Earth has, Jupiter’s flow would be expected to be in even more violent spirals.
However, Jupiter’s internal heat source and circulation, and lack of a solid surface have a calming effect so that the motion is mostly linear
and the planet’s large permanent weather features are stretched completely around the planet, forming the belts and zones.
Because of this calming effect, heat radiated from Jupiter’s center reaches all parts of the planet’s surface in equal amounts. By contrast,
Earth’s heat from the Sun is received mostly in the tropics and circulates toward the poles.
The tops of Jupiter’s bright zones are 15 degrees F cooler and an estimated 12 miles higher than the tops of the dark belts. This confirms
theories about the overall circulation pattern. The gray-white zones are warm, upward-rising “stretched” weather cells whose tops are
probably high clouds of ammonia crystals, while the lower red-brown areas are cooler descending weather cells, believed to be clouds of
ammonia hydrosulfide crystals.
The tops of the bands of warm, lightweight, upward-rising white clouds flow from the center to the edges. Cloud material in the cooler,
heavier dark belts flows downward from the edges to the center of the belts. The forces just described produce atmospheric streams along
the bands, going in opposite directions on either side of each zone, with the greatest velocities at zone edges.
These same mechanisms mean that Jupiter’s bands are streams of atmosphere whose speeds of flow can differ by as much as 360 mph. This
amounts to 360 mph winds. In general, these atmospheric streams flow most rapidly near the equator. The greatest contrasts in flow speeds
occur at mid-latitudes.

The Great Red Spot

The most startling and well-known feature of Jupiter is the Great Red Spot. Lying in the South Temperature Belt, it is a brick-red oval which
Pioneer data indicates to be 25,000 miles wide.
While not completely explaining the Great Red Spot, Pioneer has shown it to be a centuries-old vortex of a violent storm. It is calculated
to rise some five miles above the surrounding cloud deck. Most previous theories on the nature of the mysterious Spot seem to have been
10 Pioneer to Jupiter

eliminated by the fact that the Spot was not recorded by Pioneer’s gravity sensing experiment (which should have seen even small variations
in density) and by the observation of Jupiter’s liquid make-up.
Pioneer pictures show the Spot’s internal structure to be a pinwheel-like vortex. Its rapid circulation pattern makes it rigid enough to
displace the clouds of the South Tropical Zone toward the north.
A second red spot, about one-third the size of the Great Red Spot, can be seen in the Pioneer pictures. Located in the northern counterpart of
the southern hemisphere zone, the Little Red Spot is cooler than the surrounding clouds, and is believed to rise as high as the Great Red Spot.
Discovery of the second spot lends support to the idea that red spots are occasional meteorological phenomena on Jupiter found in the middle
of the planet’s bright zones where the atmosphere is rising.

Jupiter’s Ionosphere
Jupiter’s ionosphere, which rises 1,800 miles above the 1/10 millibar level, is ten times thicker and five times hotter than had been predicted.
Average temperature of the ionosphere is about 1,800 degrees F. It has at least three sharply defined layers of differing density, and its
unexpected depth is due to the diffusion of its ionized gas by high temperatures. The high temperatures, in turn, are due to the impacts of
high energy particles and to hydromagnetic waves from Jupiter’s magnetosphere.

Jupiter’s Moons
Jupiter’s four planet-sized moons show a progression of densities the farther they are from the planet. The closest moon, Io, is 3.5 times
the density of water; Eurpoa is 3.14 times; Ganymede, 1.94 times; and Callisto, 1.62 times.
Thus, the two inner moons, having a density a little more and a little less, respectively, than that of the Earth’s moon, must be primarily
rocky. The outer two probably consist largely of water-ice, as indicated both by their density and by Jupiter’s heat characteristics.
Pioneer measurements have shown that the masses of the moons are as follows: Io, 1.22 Earth-Moon masses; Europa, 0.67 lunar masses;
Ganymede, 2.02 lunar masses; and Callisto, 1.44 lunar masses.
Ganymede is larger than the planet Mercury, while Callisto is about the same size, and Io and Europa are somewhat smaller. The average
surface temperature of the four large moons on the sunlit side is -230 degrees F.
A Pioneer picture of Ganymede appears to show a south polar mare (dark area) and another central mare about 480 miles in diameter, plus
various large meteorite craters and a bright north polar region.
Io, the closest large moon, is 23 percent heavier than previously thought, and has a tenuous atmosphere, making it the smallest known
celestial body with an atmosphere.
Io’s extended ionosphere is almost as dense as that of Venus, reaching to about 420 miles on the day side. This dense ionosphere may mean
an unusual gas mixture and may indicate the presence of sodium, hydrogen and nitrogen on Io. Earth measurements show the presence of
sodium on Io while Pioneer measurements indicate hydrogen.
For about 10 minutes after it emerges from behind Jupiter’s shadow, Io is the most reflective object in the solar system. Then it begins to
turn from white to a pronounced orange color again. Apparently, during its 21 hours in the freezing Jovian night, methane snow flakes form
in its atmosphere, which then evaporate in the sunlight.
The radio occultation experiment found a density of 60,000 electrons per cubic centimeter in the ionosphere on the day side of Io, compared
with only 9,000 electrons per cubic centimeter on the night side.
An entirely new and unexpected phenomenon discovered by Pioneer is the hydrogen cloud embedding Io and extending a third of the way
around its orbit. And, for the record, Pioneer pin-pointed Io’s position more precisely by 30 miles.

Magnetic Field
The magnetic field strength of Jupiter at its cloud tops is more than ten times the strength of Earth’s at the Earth’s surface, and the total
energy of the Jovian field is 400 million times that of Earth’s.
Jupiter’s inner magnetic field extends into space about 800,000 miles from the planet’s cloud tops. However, the outer field extends from
the cloud tops a minimum distance of 2.1 million miles and a maximum distance of 6.5 million miles.
A Jovian compass would point south since the poles of Jupiter’s field are reversed from those of Earth. The inner field is tilted about 10
degrees to the planet’s axis of rotation, and the center of the field does not coincide with the center of the planet. The field’s center lies
about 1,320 miles north of the center of the planet and 4,840 miles outward from the rotational axis in a direction parallel with the equator.
Because of this non-coincidence, the strength of the field as it emerges from the cloud tops is calculated to vary over the clouds’ surface
from 3 to 10 Gauss. At its closest approach, 81,000 miles above the cloud tops, Pioneer 10 measured a field strength of 0.2 Gauss. (Earth’s
field at the surface is 0.35 Gauss.)
Because Jupiter’s magnetic field is tilted 10 degrees to the planet’s axis of rotation, the inner field, as seen from space, wobbles up and down
through an arc of 20 degrees once every 10-hour rotation of the planet.
Pioneer to Jupiter 11

Radiation Belts
As on Earth, the high-energy particles which form Jupiter’s inner radiation belt are trapped within the planet’s inner magnetic field. In the
weak outer magnetic field, particles bounce around but eventually make their way to the field’s outer edge and are spun off into space by
the high-speed rotation of the planet and by the radiation belts themselves. The total energy of the particles in the belts is many millions of
times the total energy of those in the Earth’s belts.
The greatest threat to spacecraft flying close to Jupiter or orbiting the planet are the belts’ intense particle radiation. Of the four large moons,
only Callisto lies outside the region of intense radiation, and would therefore be the most feasible site for a manned landing.
Surprisingly, there were 100 times more high energy electrons in the inner radiation belt than the more damaging high-energy protons
(hydrogen nuclei).
By far the highest radiation intensities were found in the inner belt which forms a doughnut-shaped ring around the planet. Like the inner
magnetic field that contains it, the inner belt extends out about 800,000 miles from the top of Jupiter’s ionosphere.
The outer radiation belt extends out beyond the inner belt in a relatively flat ring, a minimum distance of another 1.3 million miles or a
maximum of almost 6 million miles.
Average thickness of the outer radiation belt is 445,000 miles. However, the zone of high radiation intensity in the outer belt forms a thin
sheet which bisects the outer belt horizontally, and lies parallel with the planet’s equator. High energy particles in the outer belt are mostly
electrons with a maximum intensity several hundred times less than the maximum intensity levels of the inner belt.
The inner belt is contained in and shaped by Jupiter’s internal magnetic field and therefore wobbles up and down 20 degrees every ten hours
with each Jupiter rotation as does the field. The greatest radiation intensities of the inner radiation belt coincide with the equatorial plane
of Jupiter’s magnetic field. Radiation levels decline rapidly going either north or south from the magnetic equator. Spacecraft trajectories
could be planned to pass rapidly through this region of intense radiation.
Peak radiation intensity measurements revealed an enormous one billion electrons per square centimeter per second striking the skin of the
spacecraft. Of the total electrons, 90 per cent were in the energy range from 3 million to 30 million electron volts (MeV).
For all the protons with energies above 35 MeV, intensity was 70 million protons per square centimeter per second. Numbers of low energy
protons (0.3 to 35 MeV) were not as great as would have been expected from totals of higher energy protons.
In the outer radiation belt intensities of all electrons over 60,000 electron volts reached three million per square centimeter per second at
times. For all the protons with energies higher than 0.5 MeV intensity at times reached several hundred thousand protons per square
centimeter per second.

Bow Shock Wave

A bow shock wave is produced when the million-mile-an-hour solar wind rushes out from the Sun and strikes a planet’s magnetosphere and
flows around it. Jupiter’s bow shock wave is similar to Earth’s except that it is on a much greater scale.
Pioneer 10 crossed Jupiter’s bow shock wave outbound at 8.24 million miles. This means a line from one side of the shock to the other
passing through the planet’s day-night boundary would be 16.5 million miles long, about 80 per cent of the distance between the orbits of
the Earth and Venus.
When Pioneer 10 crossed the bow shock, the solar wind changed direction 40 degrees as it flowed around the planet. The wind’s density
increased three times and its temperature 100 times as it crossed the shock front.

Jupiter’s magnetosphere, the region of space occupied by the planet’s magnetic field, has an average diameter of nine million miles. If it
could be seen from Earth, a half billion miles away, it would occupy two degrees of the sky, whereas the Sun occupies only a half degree
as we see it from 93 million miles away. Compared to the Earth’s magnetosphere, Jupiter’s is 100 times bigger in diameter and a million
times larger in volume.
It rotates like a large wheel at several hundred thousand miles per hour along with Jupiter which acts as the hub. Like the radiation belts
which it contains, the magnetosphere consists of two regions. The inner magnetosphere is created by the planet’s internal magnetic field
and is shaped like a doughnut with the planet in the hole.
The highly unstable outer magnetosphere is like an extension of the inner magnetosphere which is shaped as like the flattened outer part of
the doughnut.
The outer magnetosphere, which is created by the internal field plus its “current sheet” magnetic field, is “spongy” and pulsates in the solar
wind like a huge jellyfish, often shrinking to one third of its largest size.
The inner magnetosphere has a diameter of 1.8 million miles. The outer magnetosphere measures 4.4 million miles across when squashed
in and 13.2 million miles when extended. The magnetosphere’s constantly changing size explains why Pioneer 10 crossed the bow shock
17 times as it left Jupiter.
12 Pioneer to Jupiter

Jupiter’s Magnetosphere

Scientists think the study of Jupiter’s magnetosphere may produce some new physics. Its rapid rotation constantly forces ionized particles
outward, moving the outer magnetosphere’s boundary farther and farther from the planet. Strong gusts of solar wind then squash the
magnetosphere inward. As the solar wind pressure declines, the outward-moving ionized particles push it out again and the cycle repeats again.
The charged particles spun out from the equator have the greatest outward velocities and hence flow out as a flat equatorial ring or sheet.
Since moving ionized particles produce an electric current, the particle sheet is actually a sheet of intense electric current which in turn
produces a magnetic field that appears flat and stretched. This flat ring-field in combination with Jupiter’s internal field produces the
planet’s outer magnetosphere. It is a relatively feeble, constantly varying field averaging 5 gamma (1/20,000th Gauss) in strength and is easily
pushed around by the solar wind.
The thin disk of intense radiation in the outer magnetosphere coincides with the current-sheet because the particles follow the current-sheet
magnetic field. Both above and below the sheet is the outer radiation belt, 890,000 miles thick. Above and below the belt is the rest of the
outer magnetosphere. This region appears to be devoid of energetic particles. In total, the outer magnetosphere is believed to be about 4.5
million miles thick.
The current-sheet would be parallel with Jupiter’s equator (where the rotation is the greatest) except for Jupiter’s magnetic field. In the inner
magnetosphere, the strong inner field forces the electrified particles outward along Jupiter’s tilted magnetic equator.
However, in the outer magnetosphere, Jupiter’s field becomes so weak that the particles take control. They continue to move out in a flat
sheet, but the sheet lies parallel to the planet’s geographical equator. Because the inner magnetosphere is tilted and the outer is parallel to
the equator, the current-sheet can be visualized as a fedora hat with the front brim lower than the back one.
Pioneer to Jupiter 13

Jupiter as a Radiation Source

The masses of high-energy particles being spun off from Jupiter’s magnetosphere are a new discovery which makes the giant planet a second
source of radiation in the solar system, the other being the Sun.
Pioneer 10 saw these particles 140 million miles away from Jupiter and it is thought these particles have probably been seen for several
years from Earth’s orbit but scientists did not know their source. Of great interest to scientists now is the behavior of these Jupiter particles,
some of which travel into the Sun’s magnetic field instead of away from it.
A recent correlation of Pioneer 10’s scientific data by Dr. Edward J. Smith of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Professor John A. Simpson
of the University of Chicago, indicates that bursts of energetic electrons, or runaway electrons as they are called, are escaping from Jupiter’s
magnetosphere and streaming back towards the Sun, along the interplanetary magnetic field. Measurements for the study were obtained
from the spacecraft’s Helium Vector Magnetometer and Charged Particle Instrument.
Dr. Smith and Professor Simpson have found that the electron bursts occur when the interplanetary magnetic field points either towards or
away from Jupiter. They also observed these electrons to be accompanied by large amplitude hydromagnetic waves with a characteristic
period of ten minutes.
Apparently, the waves are generated by the runaway electrons as they travel up stream through interplanetary space. The origin of the waves
appears to involve plasma instability, as observed in the laboratory during thermonuclear plasma research about ten years ago. This may
be one of the true scientific relationships linking thermonuclear research and space research.

Electron Bursts from Jupiter

14 Pioneer to Jupiter

Pioneer 10-11 Flight Trajectory


Pioneer 11’s final aiming point near Jupiter was not selected until 11 months after the spacecraft was launched from Earth. Until that time,
success of Pioneer 10 had not been demonstrated and scientists could not conclude what trajectory would most enhance our knowledge
about the giant planet.
Two candidate aim points were obvious favorites long before launch: the same one that had been chosen for the first exploration with Pioneer
10, to the right of Jupiter; and a new path very close to the left of Jupiter, which would subsequently project across the solar system to Saturn.
A third, less desirable, possibility was to skirt Jupiter more widely if Pioneer 10 was seriously damaged by the intense radiation belt.
An interim target point was chosen for the initial mid-course maneuvers during the first month after launch of Pioneer 11. This interim
point was placed such that a later final selection could be made by accelerating along the spacecraft’s spin axis while pointing toward Earth.
On April 19, 1974 Pioneer 11 was accelerated by 133 mph away from Earth. The Jupiter flyby was thereby moved westerly, to the left of
Jupiter, and more southerly, for a 50° south latitude approach. Date of arrival was advanced by nearly two days, and was carefully adjusted
to coincide with overlapping coverage between large tracking antennas located at Goldstone, California and Canberra, Australia. This
overlapping view of Jupiter and its vicinity occurs for about four hours during which the Earth’s rotation is within the correct angular range.
The approach trajectory causes the spacecraft to lead Jupiter upon arrival at the planet. The spacecraft will be accelerated sharply northward
and forward in a spiral motion as it swings around in Jupiter’s intense gravitational field. The result of such an encounter will be to send
Pioneer 11 on a new eliptical path around the Sun, this time inclined about 15° to the ecliptic plane.
The post-Jupiter trajectory will descend through the ecliptic plane again about September 5, 1979, where it is designed to intercept Saturn.
Extension of Pioneer 11’s flight to Saturn is almost an ideal fit to the criteria laid down by scientists for enhancement of the knowledge
gained from Pioneer 10: close-in measurement of Jupiter’s radiation belt will be made to learn whether its intensity diminishes, as predicted
Pioneer to Jupiter 15

by some theorists, or intensifies at close range to the planet. The high latitude approach and departure will allow such close flyby at a total
radiation dose level similar to that already survived by Pioneer 10, and will indicate whether the strong latitude correlation of radiation
intensity persists into the inner volume. Travel clockwise, rather than counter-clockwise, around Jupiter will provide a good sweep in
magnetic longitude for measurements in the magnetosphere. Pioneer 10’s co-rotation with the planet was relatively restricted in longitude
(as well as latitude) at close range from Jupiter.
Imaging and polarimetry of the planet near both its south and north poles are facilitated, in contrast with Pioneer 10’s near equatorial flyby.
Determination of the planet’s gravity field characteristics, and probing of its atmosphere by radio occultation, also will gain added precision
and perspectives from the new encounter trajectory.

Pioneer 10-11 Encounter Trajectory

Certainly one of the most beautiful sights to be seen through a telescope is the planet Saturn with its yellowish hue and magnificent
encircling rings. Saturn was the outermost planet known by the ancients who named it after the father of Jupiter.
The first telescopic observations of Saturn were made by Galileo in 1609-1610. Because his telescope was not powerful enough to reveal
a clear definition of the planet, Galileo was puzzled by what he saw. He thought he was viewing three planets. What he observed, of course,
were the rings of Saturn, which at that time were tilted at a narrow angle to the Earth.
Saturn’s rings lie precisely in the plane of the planet’s equator which is inclined some 28 degrees to the plane of the Earth’s orbit. During
its 29½ year sidereal period, we see the south pole, which is tilted toward the Sun, for 13 years and 9 months. During the remaining 15
years, 9 months, the north pole is tilted toward the Sun and the rings can easily be seen. In between these alternative periods, we view the
planet with the rings edge-on. The next such viewing will be in 1980.
When first seen by Galileo, the rings were approaching an edge-on appearance. When he did view them edge-on later, Galileo thought
Saturn had suddenly lost its two companions. Unfortunately, Galileo was never able to correctly interpret what he saw.
16 Pioneer to Jupiter

It took a much improved telescope in the hands of Christian Huygens in 1655 to see the rings. Huygens proposed the ring theory in 1659
and was met with strong opposition. However, the later observations of men such as Robert Hooke and G.D. Cassini proved Huygens right
and the ring theory found acceptance in 1665.
Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system and is not unlike the much larger Jupiter. Saturn has an equatorial diameter of 75,100 miles
and a polar diameter of 67,200 miles. Its bulging equatorial belt rotates faster than the rest of the planet by as much as twenty minutes or more.
Its volume is over 700 times that of Earth but its low density (less than water) gives it a mass of only 95 times as great – low by planetary standards.
Saturn’s average distance from the Sun is 886 million miles. It has an orbital velocity of 6 miles per second. As mentioned previously, its
sidereal period is 29½ years, compared with Earth’s one year, and has an average rotation of 10 hours, 14 minutes. This rapid spin would
give Saturn some 25,000 “days” each year.
While having similarities to Jupiter, Saturn is a more quiescent planet. Periodical outbursts of activity on Saturn are usually milder than
Jovian outbreaks. Apart from its cloud belts, Saturn has no prominent semi-permanent features such as Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
However, this does not mean Saturn experiences no large scale disturbances. In 1933, for example, a great white spot was observed near
the equator. A year later it was replaced by a white equatorial band.
Actually the similarities in the atmospheric phenomena of Saturn and Jupiter are more striking than the differences, the latter being more in
degree than in kind. Even the colors of the planets are similar, except for an occasional greenish tint in Saturn’s polar areas.
While not a strong source of radio noise like Jupiter, Saturn does seem to radiate more energy than it receives from the Sun. Despite its low
average density of 0.7, Saturn’s distribution of matter is highly concentrated in the center, much like Jupiter’s.
The planet’s internal structure and atmosphere is assumed to be similar to Jupiter’s though different in proportions. Spectrographic analysis
reveals Saturn’s atmosphere to contain more methane and less ammonia than Jupiter’s. Since Saturn is much colder (-290 degrees F) than Jupiter,
it is assumed that more of the ammonia has frozen out of its atmosphere and that the reflected sunlight penetrates a thicker layer of methane.
The lower temperature may also explain the more sluggish changes in the cloud formations and the less complex structural detail of Saturn.
Ten moons are known to orbit Saturn. Of these, Titan, a planet-sized satellite of yellowish hue is the most important in that it has the
distinction of being the first satellite known to have an atmosphere. (Pioneer 10 has revealed an atmosphere on Io, one of the Jovian moons.)
Since Titan’s escape velocity is only about 1.7 miles per second, the fact that it has an atmosphere is attributed to its low temperature. It
has been pointed out by G.P. Kuiper, who discovered the atmosphere’s presence, that if Titan’s temperature were raised to -100 degrees F,
the methane atmosphere would escape.
Titan may well be the largest satellite in our solar system. Its diameter is uncertain but estimates range from 2,700 miles to 3,500 miles.
The Earth’s Moon measures only 2,160 miles in diameter. The only moons possibly larger than Titan would be the Jovian moons Ganymede
(3,200 miles in diameter) and Callisto (thought to be about 3,000 miles in diameter), or Triton, one of Neptune’s two moons which is
estimated to be 3,000 miles in diameter.
Titan has a mean distance from the center of Saturn of 760,000 miles, making it seventh in order of distance from the planet.
The closest, Janus, was only discovered in December 1966 and little is known about it except that its diameter may be about 150 miles.
The other three inner moons, Mimas, Enceladus, and Tethys, have been described as “snowballs” and are about as dense as water. They
measure about 300, 400, and 700 miles in diameter, respectively.
The fifth satellite, Dione, is about the size of Tethys but is much denser and more massive. After that comes Rhea, a distinctly brighter
moon with a density between that of Dione and the inner moons.
Beyond Titan lie Hyperion, a small moon measuring about 200 miles across, and Iapetus. The latter is interesting in that it is brighter when
west of Saturn than when it is east. It could be that it has a surface of unequal reflecting power or is irregular in shape.
The outermost moon is Phoebe. It is small, has a highly inclined retrograde orbit and is probably a captured asteroid.
For more than 300 years the exact nature and structure of Saturn’s rings has been an enigma to scientists. We know that they are neither
solid nor liquid sheets because they lie within the Roche limit for Saturn and therefore could not exist as a continuous ring. (The Roche
limit is the distance from the center of a planet, or other body, within which a second body would be broken up by gravitationally induced
tidal distortion.)
Recent studies indicate the rings to be composed of small particles about 1/3,000 inch in dimension and covered with a rough surface. It has
been suggested that the particles are amonia ice crystals.
One theory has it that the particles are the debris of a former satellite which was broken up when it approached the Roche limit, while another
suggests the particles to be a cloud mass which was never formed into one body.
The system is made up of three principal rings known as A, B, and C. The outermost ring, A, is bright, though not as reflective as B, and
measures 169,000 miles across and 10,000 miles in width. Between Rings A and B is a distinct 2,500-mile-wide gap known as Cassini’s
Division after G.D. Cassini. It is an area constantly swept clean of ring particles by the gravitational effects of Saturn’s inner satellites.
The 16,000-mile-wide Ring B is the brightest of the rings and has an albedo greater than Saturn itself. The third ring with a width of 10,000
miles is Ring C, generally known as the Crepe or Dusky Ring. Discovered in 1848, it is much fainter and more transparent than A or B,
and extends to within 9,000 miles of Saturn’s surface.
Pioneer to Jupiter 17

Since 1907 there have been occasional reports of a dusky fourth ring (Ring D) outside Ring A. However, there is no proof of its existence
to date.
The study of Saturn spectrograms is quite fascinating. Sometimes the rings cross the line of sight to a star which becomes completely
obscured behind Ring B and flashes to near normal brightness when seen through Cassini’s division. Behind Ring A the star will show
irregular fluctuations.
When observed almost at precise opposition to the Sun, the rings brighten considerably. It has been suggested that the many small ring
particles shadow each other so that only at opposition can we see the surface of the particles directly without appreciable effects of shadowing.
Saturn’s ring system, while measuring 169,000 miles in diameter, is thought to be less than 10 miles thick (some observers say the thickness
can be measured in yards), and is visible from Earth only as a very slender line of light when viewed edge-on.

18 Pioneer to Jupiter


† Thousands of miles.
* Indicates retrograde motion.


A new Jovian moon, perhaps the smallest yet identified in our solar system, has tentatively been logged as Jupiter’s thirteenth (J-XIII).
Charles Kowal, astronomer with the Hale Observatory, discovered J-XIII while reviewing a series of photographic plates he made from
September 10th through 12th on the 48” Schmidt telescope at the Mt. Palomar Observatory.
Kowal suggests from his observations that this new moon would be less than five miles in diameter, traveling in a retrograde, or clockwise,
orbit about 14 million miles from the giant planet, Jupiter. Four of Jupiter’s twelve other moons are also known to have retrograde orbits
at approximately the same distance.
Some astronomers speculate these small moons could be asteroids, captured by the tremendous gravitational pull of Jupiter. Others hint that
many more objects of varying sizes may also be captured and as yet undetected.
By computing an orbit for the new object based on Kowal’s photographs, Brian Marsden of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
indicates there is a possibility it is a comet within the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, but more likely a captured asteroid
Questioning whether Pioneer 11 would be able to observe this new find, a project spokesman said, “Since the new moon was very small
and far away from the planet, Pioneer 11 would have to come very close to detect it and that possibility is rather doubtful.”
Additional observations will be necessary to confirm Kowal’s discovery. Until then, we may ponder whether Jupiter’s thirteenth moon will
be a lucky omen for the upcoming Pioneer 11’s encounter.
Pioneer to Jupiter 19


If one looks at a plan of the solar system he sees a gap between Mars and Jupiter in the orderly positioning of the planets’ orbits. It seems
there should be another planet orbiting the Sun.
There is a mathematical relationship to support this idea. Take the numbers 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, and 384, each of which is double
its predecessor (except 3). Now add four to each: 4, 7, 10, 16, 28, 52, 100, 196, 388. Taking 10 as the Earth’s distance from the Sun, these
numbers give the remaining distances of the other planets to scale with remarkable accuracy. This is known as Bode’s Law, after Johann
Bode who, though he didn’t come up with the formula, popularized it around 1772.
The law indicates there should be a planet at 28, a fact which sent astronomers in 1800 looking for it. What they found, but didn’t realize
at the time, was the Asteroid Belt.
On January 1, 1801, Piazzi, who was compiling a star catalogue, noticed a starlike object that moved. He made note of it, but was unable
to monitor it the following night because of illness. However, the great mathematician Gauss took Piazzi’s calculations and redetected the
object a year later and realized it was a planet, not a star or comet. Piazzi named the new planet Ceres after the patron Goddess of Sicily.
It was found to have a distance on the Bode scale of 27.7 and many astronomers thought the solar system to be complete.
Then another planet was discovered in 1802, another in 1804, and yet another in 1807. The four were called the Minor Planets or Asteroids.
More were discovered and by 1807 a total of 109 had been sighted and named.
Then in 1891 a method of detecting asteroids was introduced by Max Wolf that led to an amazing increase in the number of minor planets.
Wolf adjusted a camera so that it was fixed to follow the ordinary stars as they moved across the heavens. Because an asteroid moves against
the stars, the latter appear on a time exposed photographic plate as streaks. Today the number of asteroids varies in estimates from 40,000
to 100,000. The latter estimate is from the Russians who are the only ones to keep close records on asteroids.
As their numbers grew, it became increasingly difficult to find names for new asteroids. The mythological names began giving out. The
first departure was No. 25, Phocaea, named after a seaport in Ionia. No. 45, Eugenia, was named after Napoleon III’s wife. Soon discoverers
began finding any source a suitable namesake. Ekard is the word “Drake” spelled backwards, and was named by two Drake University
members. Halawe is named after its discoverer’s favorite dessert, halawe, an Arab sweet. Today some of the names read like a high school
student trying to fake a Latin lesson: Photographia, Limburgia, Hooveria, Rockefellia, and so on.
The Big Four asteroids, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta are the largest. Ceres is about 480 miles in diameter. Most of the asteroids are lumps
of material, not even spherical and not massive enough to have even a trace of atmosphere. All the asteroids combined would be less than
one-tenth the mass of the Moon.
Where did the minor planets come from? Some scientists theorize they are material that didn’t form into a planet because of the disruptive
influence of Jupiter or perhaps are the remains of other planets. Another theory suggests they are the fragments of a planet that exploded.
However, what could cause a catastrophic internal explosion that would blow up a planet is not clear.
The first asteroid to be detected in close proximity to the Earth was Eros, which was discovered in 1898. Eros appears to be a slab of rock
17 miles by 4 miles, tumbling end over end. It has an eccentric orbit. Its aphelion takes it beyond Mars and its perihelion can come within
14 million miles of Earth. In 1931 it was observed a minimum of 17 million miles from Earth and is due for another close approach in 1975.
Soon after Eros’s fly-by of Earth, Amor, a smaller asteroid, came within 10 million miles of Earth in March 1932. Then, as if Earth-grazing
became fashionable, Apollo zipped by at 6.5 million miles, and in 1936 Adonis whooshed past at a mere 1.3 million miles away. Then in
1937 Hermes became the champion Earth-grazer when it missed us by 485,000 miles – less than twice the distance to the Moon.
Hermes is a mile in diameter and astronomers have calculated it could come as close at 220,000 miles to Earth.
Other asteroids have eccentric orbits, too. Icarus, at perihelion, passes the Sun at 18 million miles, closer in than Mercury, and then recedes
to 183 million miles at aphelion, beyond the orbit of Mars. Another interesting asteroid is Hidalgo which goes beyond Saturn at aphelion,
and cuts inside Mars’ orbit at perihelion.
As you may have gathered by now, all the asteroids don’t stay within the confines of the Asteroid Belt. Many have orbits that take them to
the outer reaches of the solar system, yet the majority are concentrated within the proximity of the belt.
Its possible there would be more asteroids in the belt, were it not for Jupiter, whose strong gravitational pull acts like a giant vacuum cleaner of the
asteroid belt. Once a slow moving asteroid comes within the clutches of the Jovian gravitational pull, it is wrenched from its orbit and disappears
beneath the clouds of Jupiter. Others not sucked into the cloud belt have been wrested from their orbits and catapulted down new paths.
This penchant of Jupiter’s for disturbing the orbits, not only of asteroids but of some of the other major planets, is called perturbation. While
each planet pulls upon one another to some extent, Jupiter’s size makes it the bad boy of the solar system. These perturbations make life
very difficult for mathematical astronomers trying to plot the orbits of the heavenly bodies.
Two groups of asteroids living in peace with Jupiter are the Trojan clusters, so named because the first one discovered was dubbed Achilles
and subsequent ones (16 in all) were named after the combatants in the war between Greece and Troy.
Moving in the same orbit as Jupiter, one cluster of Trojans travels about 60 degrees ahead of Jupiter while the other travels about 60 degrees
behind forming an equilateral triangle with the Sun and therefore balancing themselves with Jupiter.
This mathematical relationship between the Trojans, Jupiter, and the Sun is termed a Lagrangian point, after the French mathematician
Lagrange who first called attention to the problem of a massive body, and a tiny asteroid moving around the Sun in the same plane, same
orbit, and with equal periods.
20 Pioneer to Jupiter

About 1772 Lagrange found that if the bodies are 60 degrees apart, they will always remain 60 degrees apart. In 1906 when the first Trojan,
Achilles, was discovered, it was found to behave in this manner. Subsequently, the other Trojans were discovered and also found to behave
Of the 16 Trojans detected, two have been lost because they were not observed long enough to have their orbits plotted.
The Trojans do not stay strictly 60 degrees ahead of and behind Jupiter. They are in elliptical orbits, and perturbations caused by Saturn
influence them. The largest Trojan, Hector, is about 150 miles in diameter, while Menelaus is only about 10 miles wide.
It has been suggested that Jupiter’s seven outer satellites are captured Trojans, or, on the other hand, that the Trojans are ex-satellites that
somehow got away.


Theories on the creation of the universe have abounded since Biblical times and as yet we still have no generally accepted satisfactory
answer. The problem with all theories is that none stand up against the severe tests of mathematical analysis. However, it is this analysis,
along with the abundance of new discoveries every year that are leading us closer to an answer.
Today, instead of having to depend entirely upon an all-embracing hypothesis, as scientists did in the past, we are able to approach the problem
more meticulously with the applications of modern physics and the principles of dynamics which each theory must be consistent with.
By the time of Issac Newton (1642-1727) we had made considerable progress in that we could intelligently speculate on the creation of the
universe and the creation of the solar system as separate problems.
So far as the former is concerned, scientists are still in a quandry, although discoveries during the past century have increased our knowledge
of the universe tremendously.

The Solar System

As for the solar system’s origin, there is general agreement on several matters. To begin with, it is fairly safe to assume that the planets
were formed either from the Sun or a companion star, or from a diffused cloud of matter which once surrounded the Sun.
One of the first scientific theories on the origin of the solar system was presented by the French mathematician Pierre Simon de Laplace in
1796. His Nebular Hypothesis supposed the Sun to be formed from a gas cloud which, as it contracted, grew hotter and began rotating. The
more it shrank, the more the rate of spin increased until the centrifugal force at its edge became equal to its gravitational pull. A ring of
material from its bulging equator was then spun off. This discarded ring then condensed gradually into a planet which in turn spun off a
ring of matter. This process was repeated several times until all the planets were formed.
Several attacks were launched on the Nebular Hypothesis and by early 1900 it had been discarded completely in favor of a new wave of
theories involving the near collision of the Sun and a passing star. These latter theories were modified to a more acceptable form in the
early Twentieth Century by Sir James Jeans who suggested the gravitational attraction of a star passing by the Sun drew a cigar-shaped
filament of matter from the Sun. As the passing star receded, it set this matter into motion around the Sun and the matter ultimately
condensed into planets. Neither of the theories have been able to completely withstand the close scrutiny of the mathematical analysis; but
since about 1950 the Nebular Hypothesis, in a vastly improved form, seems once again to be the favorite.

Age of the Solar System

Curiously enough, we don’t know the origin of the solar system, but we claim to know its age. This has been determined by finding the age
of the Earth, which is assumed to have been created at the same time as the rest of the solar system. Therefore, by establishing the Earth’s
age, we in turn establish the age of the solar system.
The former is accomplished by dating the remains of radioactive substances in the Earth’s crust. Uranium, which is found naturally on
Earth, is not a stable element. It decays spontaneously and ends up as lead. For one type of uranium, known by scientists as U238, it takes
over 4 billion years for only half of it to become lead. This is known as its half-life. The lead produced from uranium can be distinguished
from ordinary lead so the quantity of uranium-lead found with remaining uranium tells us how long ago the decay started. It is through this
method of radioactive clock dating that we have been able to determine the age of the Earth as 4.7 billion years old.
Studies of meteorites are offered as further evidence. Examination of the visitors from space reveal they have not been solid for measurably
longer than the calculated age of the Earth. Since meteorites represent fragments of the solar system, it is concluded from their
corresponding ages that the system is coeval with the Earth. Whatever it was, some (probably catastrophic) event occurred some 4.7 billion
years ago that produced our solar system as it is known today.

The Milky Way

Within the universe, our Solar System is a tiny part of a somewhat larger than average galaxy, of which there are about one billion within
photographic range of a 200-inch reflector. Our galaxy rotates so that the Sun takes 225 million years to complete one journey around the
center. Radio astronomers have confirmed that it is a loose spiral containing 100 billion stars. It has a diameter of 100 billion light years,
with our Sun located near the main plane about 30,000 light years from the galactic center. Commonly known as “the Milky Way,” our
galaxy is a member of what has come to be called the Local Group, which is made up of 27 known galaxies. Of these the most important,
in order of size and mass, are the Andromeda Spiral, the Milky Way, the Triangulum Spiral, and the Large and Small Clouds of Magellan.
Pioneer to Jupiter 21

The Universe
As for knowing how and when the universe was created, scientists have to admit quite a bit of ignorance, although 10 billion years is often
accepted as the age of the universe. One of the most important discoveries in astronomy during the past century has been the realization
that the universe is expanding. Three prevalent theories have emerged about the creation of the universe – the big-bang theory, the
oscillating theory, and the steady state theory.
Because the universe is expanding, the clusters of galaxies we observe in the sky are getting farther and farther apart. From this we could
assume that many years ago the galaxies were much closer together, and that in the very distant past all the matter in the universe must have
been packed into an extremely small volume. The big-bang theory, of which there are variations, contends that there was a primordial
explosion of this super-condensate of primeval hydrogen about 17 billion years ago, and the expansion we detect today is the remaining
impetus of this explosion.
The universe may continue to expand forever, or, as some scientists believe, the expansion will slow and stop and then the universe will
begin contracting. This oscillation theory proposes that at intervals, which may be as great as 60 billion years or as small as 25 billion years,
all matter in the universe comes together. This contraction is then followed by expansion and the cycle goes on indefinitely.
In 1948 two scientists, Bondi and Gold, proposed that the universe has always existed and will exist forever with new material
spontaneously being created out of nothing at a rate too slow to be observationally detectable. In other words, the universe is in a steady
state. The steady state theory sees the universe expanding but perhaps as the distances between clusters of galaxies increase, new galaxies
are created to fill the void. In essence, the number of galaxies in a cubic billion light years, for example, would be essentially the same as
it is today.
Conversely, in the distant past we would also have approximately the same density of galaxies and matter in the universe as we do today.
Galaxies are not required to be crowded on top of each other as in the early stages of the big-bang theory because many of the galaxies we
see today did not exist then.

Choosing a Theory
Which theory is correct? All the theories have received some flak over the years, but recent radio astronomy investigations have dealt the
steady state theory the hardest blows. Since very distant galaxies are billions of light years away, then we are seeing them as they were
billions of years ago. If the big-bang theory is correct, then the galaxies were closer together in the past than they are now, and therefore
distant galaxies ought to appear to be closer together than nearer ones. According to the steady state theory, there should be no difference.
However, evidence gathered by radio astronomers seems to suggest that there is a difference and that the galaxies were closer together in the
past than they are now. Based on this evidence, therefore, the big-bang theory gains some credence, and the steady state theory loses some.

Pioneer Ground Data System

22 Pioneer to Jupiter


The Pioneer Ground Data System is the vital link between Earth and the Pioneer spacecraft. It is a worldwide network of tracking antennas,
high speed data lines, and computers used to transmit, receive, and process communication signals to and from the spacecraft.
Providing both real time and off-line information, the Ground Data System enables project personnel to make timely and accurate decisions
affecting spacecraft operations using real time information. Off-line information allows experimenters to meticulously analyze and verify
observations made by the spacecraft’s instruments.
The Ground Data System consists of the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN); the Mission Control and Computing Center (MCCC) at the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; the Pioneer Mission Operations Center (PMOC) at Ames Research Center, Mountain
View, California; and the Pioneer Mission Computing Center (PMCC), also at Ames.
The Deep Space Network is made up of Deep Space Stations located around the globe. These stations are approximately 120 degrees apart
in longitude so the spacecraft is always in view of at least one of the large (85- or 210-foot diameter) tracking antennas.
Signals from the Pioneer spacecraft are received by the tracking station, recorded on magnetic tape and simultaneously transmitted over
high speed data lines to Ames Research Center where further computer processing gives mission controllers the information necessary to
control the spacecraft.
Command instructions originated at Ames are sent over the high speed data lines to the MCCC and sent to Deep Space Stations where a
computer controls the uplink signal to the spacecraft to relay these instructions. Results of the command functions are detected within the
downlink telemetry data, completing a semi-automatic control loop. Control of the spacecraft during the cruise and encounter phases of the
mission is handled by personnel at Ames, where telemetry analysis and video reconstruction is performed using the PMCC computers.

Deep Space Network

The vehicle that launched both Pioneer 10 and 11 on their journeys to Jupiter was an Atlas-Centaur. The Pioneer 10 launch marked the
first time an Atlas-Centaur was used with a third stage – the 15,000 pound thrust, solid fuel TE-M-364-4 engine.
Centaur was developed under the direction of NASA’s Lewis Research Center and is in the process of being integrated with the Titan III to
launch the Viking spacecraft to Mars in 1975.
The AC-30 vehicle constructed to launch Pioneer 11 consists of an Atlas SLV-3C booster combined with a Centaur second stage, and the
TE-M-364-4 third stage. The first two stages are 10 feet in diameter and are connected by an interstage adapter. Both Atlas and Centaur
stages rely on internal pressurization for structural integrity.
Pioneer to Jupiter 23

The Atlas booster develops 411,353 pounds of thrust at liftoff, using two 174,841 pound thrust booster engines, and one 60,713 pound
thruster sustainer engine and two vernier engines developing 676 pounds of thrust each.
Insulation panels carried by Centaur were jettisoned just before the vehicle left the Earth’s atmosphere. The insulation panels, weighing
about 1,154 pounds, surrounded the second stage propellant tanks to prevent heat or air friction from causing excessive boil-off of liquid
hydrogen during flight through the atmosphere.
The solid-fueled TE-M-364-4 third stage develops almost 15,000 pounds of thrust. It is an uprated version of the retromotor used for the
Surveyor Moon-landing vehicle.
Both third stage and spacecraft were enclosed in a 29-foot long, 10-foot diameter fiberglass shroud which jettisoned after leaving the atmosphere.
The Centaur has also been successfully used on other programs to launch unmanned space probes such as Surveyor, Mariner, Orbiting
Astronomical Observatory, Applications Technology Satellite, and Intelsat Satellite.

210’ DSN Tracking Antenna

24 Pioneer to Jupiter

Pioneer 11 Being Prepared For Launch

Pioneer to Jupiter 25

Pioneer Spacecraft and Launch Vehicle Assembly

26 Pioneer to Jupiter


NOTE: All times in Pacific Standard Time (PST).

11/02/74 8:00 am Begin imaging (picture taking) and polarimetry 4 to 8 hours per day through 11/24/74. Imagery primarily to support
photopolarimetry measurements. Ames operations personnel will run the University of Arizona Imaging
Photopolarimeter until 11/18/74 when Arizona imaging photopolarimeter team will join them.
9:00 am Conscan measurements are made every other day throughout the Jupiter encounter to verify pointing accuracy of
spacecraft antenna at the Earth. Last change in antenna pointing direction before periapsis was October 17; next
change December 6, four days after periapsis.
11/07/74 4:30 am Cross orbit of Jupiter’s outermost moon, Hades, 23, 632,000 km (14,683,000 miles) from Jupiter – 165 Jupiter
diameters (one Jupiter diameter = 142,744 km) from planet.
4:49 pm Cross orbit of Poseidon, the second of the four outer moons, at 23,204,000 km (14,417,000 miles) – 162 Jupiter
diameters from the planet.
11/08/74 7:50 pm Cross orbit of Pan, third of the four outer moons, at 22,276,000 km (13,841,000 miles) – 156 Jupiter diameters from planet.
11/10/74 7:29 pm Cross orbit of Andrastea, closest of the four outer moons, at 20,634,000 km (12,820,000 miles) – 1.45 Jupiter
diameters front planet.
11/18/74 8:00 am University of Arizona team arrives to begin intensive imaging and photopolarimetry activity. Imaging and
polarimetry operations will continue up to eight hours per day through 11/24/74.
11/21/74 10:03 am Cross orbit of Hera, outermost of Jupiter’s middle group of moons, at 11,667,000 km (7,248,000 miles) – 82 Jupiter
diameters from planet.
10:50 am Cross orbit of Demeter, second of Jupiter’s three middle moons, at 11,639,000 km (7,231,000 miles) – 81.5 Jupiter
diameters from planet.
5:21 pm Cross orbit of Hestia, closest of Jupiter’s three middle moons, 11,403,000 km (7,084,000 miles) – 80 Jupiter
diameters from planet.
11/25/74 All Day Eleven images of Jupiter, polarimetry of Jupiter, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede.
4:00 pm Begin 23 hours a day imaging and polarimetry for 14 days through December 9. Both imaging and polarimetry of
Jupiter will occur every day through this period; imaging a little more than half the time.
11/25/74 8:00 am Earliest time for bow shock wave crossing, inbound.
11/26/74 All Day Twenty five images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter and Io.
8:00 am Earliest time for magnetopause crossing, inbound.
12:00 pm Resolution of pictures sent back by Pioneer equals that of typical Earth telescope pictures.
9:00 pm Most likely time for magnetopause crossing, inbound. (Time period when crossing likely is 19 hours; from 11/26/74,
9:00 pm to 11/27/74, 4:00 pm.)
11/27/74 All Day Seventeen images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter, Io, and Europa.
9:21 pm Pioneer five days from periapsis, 5,905,000 km (3,669,000 miles), 41.5 Jupiter diameters away.
9:21 pm Planet occupies 1/10th (1.4°) of Pioneer’s 14° field of view. Would have a 2 inch diameter on a 21 inch TV screen.
11/28/74 All Day Twenty two images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter and lo.
9:21 pm Pioneer four days from periapsis, 4,919,000 km (3,050,000 miles), 34.5 Jupiter diameters from the cloud tops.
9:21 pm Planet occupies 1.6° of Pioneer’s 14° view field; 2½ inch diameter on a 21 inch TV screen.
11/29/74 All Day Fifteen images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Io, Europa, Jupiter.
9:21 pm Pioneer three days from closest approach, 3,895,000 km (2,420,000 miles) – 27 Jupiter diameters from cloud tops.
9:21 pm Planet occupies 1/7th (2.1°) of Pioneer’s 14° view field; 3 inch diameter on a 21 inch TV screen.
11/30/74 All Day Twenty four images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Ganymede, Callisto and Jupiter.
9:21 pm All pictures from now until 48 hours after periapsis better than typical Earth telescope pictures. Average resolution
in this 96 hour period 2 to 3 times better than telescope pictures. During these 96 hours, Pioneer will return 40
pictures of the full planet, many pictures of portions of Jupiter’s surface, three of Callisto, one each of Ganymede
and Io.
11/30/74 9:21 pm Two days from periapsis. Pioneer 2,813,000 km (1,748,000 miles) – 20 Jupiter diameters from the cloud tops.
9:21 pm Planet occupies 2.8° of Pioneer’s 14° view field; 4¼ inch diameter on a 21 inch TV screen.
11:28 pm Ultraviolet photometer measurement of Callisto.
12/01/74 All Day Fourteen images of Jupiter, two images of Callisto. Polarimetry of Callisto, lo, and Jupiter.
11:26 am Ultraviolet photometer measurement of Ganymede.
5:27 pm Cross orbit of Callisto, outermost Galilean moon, at 1,812,800 km (1,125,295 miles).
9:21 pm Pioneer one day from periapsis, 1,617,000 km (1,005,000 miles) – 11.5 Jupiter diameters from the cloud tops.
9:21 pm Planet occupies one-third (4.8°) of Pioneer’s 14° view field; 7¼ inch diameter on a 21 inch TV screen.
9:21 pm Begin best pictures of Jupiter. During the 24 hours before and after periapsis when Pioneer is within one million
miles of the planet, pictures are much better than any from Earth, the best ever made of Jupiter except those taken
by Pioneer 10.
10:18 pm Infrared measurements of Callisto, inbound.
12/02/74 All Day Eight images of Jupiter, one image of Callisto, one image of Ganymede. Polarimetry of Jupiter.
12:21 am Closest approach to Callisto, 786,500 km (488,730 miles) at 21 hours from periapsis.
1:50 am Ultraviolet measurements of Ganymede, 19 hours 31 minutes from periapsis.
Pioneer to Jupiter 27

8:01am Cross orbit of Ganymede, second outermost Galilean moon, at 1,001,140 km (624,953 miles), 7 Jupiter diameters
from cloud tops, 13 hours 33 minutes from periapsis.
8:21 am Last full disc picture of Jupiter. Subsequent pictures will more than fill spacecraft’s 14° view field.
1:56 pm Infrared measurement Ganymede, inbound; 7 hours 25 minutes before periapsis.
2:06 pm Cross orbit of Europa, second closest Galilean moon, at 601,780 km (372,803 miles), 4.2 Jupiter diameters from the
cloud tops, 7.25 hours from periapsis.
2:09 pm Closest approach to Ganymede, 692,300 km (430,195 miles), 7.2 hours from periapsis.
2:45 pm Ultraviolet measurement of Europa, 6 hours 36 minutes before periapsis.
3:21 pm Inter-radiation belt at 3.5 Jupiter diameters from clouds, 6 hours from closest approach.
4:00 pm Begin two-hour scan for last picture on incoming trajectory, thus showing Red Spot portion of Jupiter’s surface.
During picture, taken from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Pioneer well inside radiation belt. Range 265,000 miles; resolution
five times Earth telescope resolution.
5:00 pm
to 7:45 pm Infrared measurements of Jupiter, 2 hours 45 minutes of measurements starting at 4 hours 21 minutes from periapsis.
5:13 pm Infrared measurement of Amalthea, 4 hours 8 minutes from periapsis.
5:23 pm Cross orbit of Io, the innermost Galilean moon, at 352,560 km (217,945 miles), 2.45 Jupiter diameters from cloud
tops, 4 hours from periapsis.
7:02 pm Infrared measurements of Io at 2 hours 19 minutes before periapsis.
7:09 pm Closest approach to lo, 314,000 km (195,120 miles), 2.2 hours before periapsis.
7:58 pm Crossing of Pioneer 10’s previous closest approach distance of 81,000 miles.
8:10 pm Cross orbit of Amalthea, closest Jovian moon, at 137,260 km (68,630 miles), 0.77 Jupiter diameters from cloud tops,
1.18 hours before periapsis.
8:15 pm Closest approach to Europa, 586,700 km (364,575 miles); 1.1 hours before periapsis.
9:00:21 pm Enter 33 minutes 31 seconds solar occultation; starts at 20 minutes 58 seconds before periapsis.
9:00:42 pm Enter Jupiter radio occultation (blackout) – duration 42 minutes 2 seconds. Starts 20 minutes 18 seconds before periapsis.
9:22 pm Periapsis – Pioneer is 42,828 km (26,613 miles), 0.31 Jupiter diameters from cloud tops.
9:33:52 pm Exit solar occultation, 12 minutes 33 seconds after periapsis.
9:43:30 pm Exit Jupiter radio occultation, 21 minutes 44 seconds after periapsis.
10:30 pm Closest approach to Amalthea, 127,500 km (79,229 miles), 1.15 hours after periapsis.
10:52 pm Infrared measurement of Amalthea, outbound, 1 hour 31 minutes after periapsis.
11:00 pm Start 4½ hour Jupiter viewing period, outbound, for infrared instrument. Begins 1 hour 39 minutes after periapsis.
12/03/74 All Day Eleven images of Jupiter, one image of Io. Polarimetry of Jupiter, Ganymede, and Callisto.
1:30 am End 4½ hour Jupiter viewing period for infrared instrument, outbound. Ends 4 hours 9 minutes after periapsis.
3:21 am Exit Radiation Belt at 3.5 Jupiter diameters from cloud tops, 6 hours after periapsis.
7:58 am Infrared measurement of Io, outbound, 10 hours 37 minutes after periapsis.
9:21 pm One day after periapsis. Pioneer is 1,617,000 km (1,005,000 miles) – 11.3 planet diameters from Jupiter.
11:43 pm Infrared measurement of Ganymede, outbound, 26 hours 22 minutes after periapsis.
12/04/74 All Day Fifteen images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter, Io, Ganymede and Europa.
9:21 pm Two days after periapsis. Pioneer is 2,813,000 km (1,748,000 miles) from Jupiter.
9:45 pm Infrared measurement of Callisto, outbound, 48 hours 24 minutes after periapsis.
12:00 am Jupiter occupies 1/5th of 14° view field.
12/05/74 All Day Eighteen images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and Jupiter.
9:21 pm Three days after periapsis. Pioneer is 3,895,000 km (2,420,000 miles) from Jupiter.
12/06/74 All Day Ten images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter and Ganymede.
5:30 am
to 1:30 pm First precession maneuver after periapsis to change pointing angle at the Earth of Pioneer radio antenna. Maneuver
lasts 6 to 8 hours and will change pointing direction about 2°.
9:21 pm Four days after periapsis. Pioneer is 4,919,000 km (3,050,000 miles) from Jupiter.
12/07/74 All Day Twenty two images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto.
12:00 pm Jupiter occupies 1/10th of Pioneer view field.
9:21 pm Five days after periapsis Pioneer is 5,906,000 km (3,669,000 miles) from Jupiter.
12/08/74 All Day Twenty eight images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter, Ganymede and Callisto.
12:00 pm Earliest time for magnetopause crossing, outbound; 20 hour period when crossing expected is 12:00 noon, 12/8/74
to 4:00 am, 12/9/74.
12/09/74 All Day Nineteen images of Jupiter. Polarimetry of Jupiter.
3:00 pm End of 23 hour per day imaging and photopolarimetry. Return to 4 to 8 hours per day operation through 1/3/75.
Arizona imaging photopolarimetry team goes home, but will return for full day of operations on 12/17/74. After
today (12/9/74) imaging photopolarimeter will be run by Ames personnel and will be used primarily for
photopolarimetry, not imaging.
8:00 pm Latest possible time for magnetopause crossing, outbound.
12/10/74 12:00 am Latest time for bow shock crossing, outbound.
12/17/74 All Day Fifteen images of Jupiter by Arizona Ames team. Arizona then returns instrument to Ames operation. Imaging and
polarimetry 4 to 8 hours per day through 1/3/75.
28 Pioneer to Jupiter

12/20/74 4:45 am
to 12:45 pm Second precession maneuver after periapsis to change pointing angle at the Earth of Pioneer radio antenna.
Maneuver lasts 6 to 8 hours, changes pointing direction about 2°.
12/30/74 6:00 am
to 2:00 pm Third precession maneuver after periapsis to change pointing angle at the Earth of Pioneer radio antenna. Maneuver
lasts 6 to 8 hours changes pointing direction about 2°.
01/03/74 8:00 am End of 4 to 8 hour per day imaging and photopolarimetry.
4:00 pm End encounter period.

Pioneer 11 Distance vs. Encounter Time at Jupiter

Pioneer to Jupiter 29

Pioneer 11 Distance vs. Velocity Relative to Earth

Since Pioneer 10 will eventually leave our solar system, there is a chance it will encounter intelligent beings somewhere in space. If so, a
message in the form of a 6- by 9-inch gold anodized plaque bolted to the spacecraft’s main frame will tell them of the spacecraft’s origin.
On the plaque a man and a woman stand before an outline of the spacecraft. The man’s hand is raised in a gesture of good will. The physical
make up of the man and woman were determined from the results of a computerized analysis of the average person in our civilization.
The key to translating the plaque lies in understanding the breakdown of the most common element in the universe – hydrogen. This
element is illustrated in the left hand corner of the plaque in schematic form showing the hyperfine transition of neutral atomic hydrogen.
Anyone from a scientifically educated civilization having enough knowledge of hydrogen would be able to translate the message. The
plaque was designed by Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University and drawn by Linda Sagan.
30 Pioneer to Jupiter

Pioneer Plaque

The internal atomic structure of the hydrogen atom has a hyperfine transition between the nuclear and electronic spins which relate to a
specific time interval. The period of this spin, or the time interval it takes to complete one transition, is 0.7040 x 10-9 seconds. By
converting this period to length, we get 21 centimeters or approximately 8.25 inches. The vertical line just under the horizontal line of the
Hyperfine Transition Schematic relates to a binary value of “1” for each transition. To the right of the woman are two tote marks. Four
marks (binary values) are shown between each tote mark and have weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8. Reading from top to bottom, the lower mark
turned in a horizontal position indicates a true binary weight of “8.” The actual size of the woman can now be determined by taking this
value (8) and multiplying it by the transition period (8.25 inches or 21 centimeters) to get the following:
8.25 inches (transition value) x 8 (binary weight) = 66 inches
21 centimeters (transition value) x 8 (binary weight) = 168 centimeters
To the left center are 14 major signal transmitting pulsars in the galaxy. The transmitting period of the pulsars at launch can be determined
by multiplying the binary value shown on each line by the transition period (0.7040 x 10-9). The radial pattern indicates the relative position
of each pulsar in the galaxy viewed from the center of our solar system. The long line extending to the right behind the human figures
represents the distance from the launching planet to the galactic center.
The symbols shown on the lower part of the drawing indicate the relative position of the planets to the Sun described by the binary values
near each planet. Also indicated is a schematic trajectory of the Pioneer spacecraft passing by Jupiter and leaving the solar system with its
antenna pointing back to Earth.

One additional instrument, the Fluxgate Magnetometer, was included on-board the Pioneer 11 spacecraft to measure the strength and
direction of Jupiter’s magnetic field at close distances. Pioneer 10 approached within 81,000 miles of Jupiter, while Pioneer 11 has been
targeted for an approximate 26,613 mile flyby. Details of the instruments and scientific experiments to be conducted by the principal
investigators are described in the following sections.
Pioneer to Jupiter 31

Magnetic Fields Experiment

Instrument: Magnetometer
Principal Investigator: Edward J. Smith, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
Co-Investigators: Palmer Dyal, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California
David S. Colburn, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California
Douglas E. Jones, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Paul J. Coleman, Jr., University of California at Los Angeles
Leverette Davis, Jr., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Charles P. Sonett, University of Arizona
The helium vector magnetometer is a sensitive instrument which measures the interplanetary magnetic field in three axes from the orbit of
the Earth out to the limits of spacecraft communication. By studying the solar wind interaction with Jupiter, and mapping Jupiter’s strong
magnetic fields, the instrument may give us a key to the fluid composition and other characteristics of Jupiter’s interior.
The magnetometer’s sensor is mounted on the lightweight mast extending 21.5 feet from the center of the spacecraft to minimize
interference from spacecraft fields. The instrument operates in any of eight different ranges. The lowest covers fields from 0.016 gamma
to 4 gamma; the highest up to 140,000 gamma (1.4 Gauss). The Earth’s surface field is 50,000 gamma. The instrument weighs six pounds
and uses five watts of power.
32 Pioneer to Jupiter

Plasma Analyzer Experiment

Instrument: Plasma Analyzer
Principal Investigator: John H. Wolfe, NASA Ames Research Center
Co-Investigators: Louis A. Frank, University of Iowa, Iowa City
Reimar Lust, Max-Planck-Institute fur Physik and Astrophysik Institute
fur Extraterrestrische Physik, Munchen, Germany
Devrie Intriligator, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
William C. Feldman, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, New Mexico
The plasma analyzer will map the density and energy of the solar wind; determine solar wind interactions with Jupiter (including the planet’s
bow shock wave); and will look for the boundary of the heliosphere (Sun’s atmosphere).
A high resolution and a medium resolution analyzer look toward the Sun through the spacecraft’s dish antenna, and solar wind enters the instrument
like the electron beam in a TV tube. The instrument measures the direction of the travel, energy (speed) and number of ions and electrons.
Voltage applied across the instrument’s plates in one of 64 steps allows only particles in a given energy range to enter.
Detectors in the high-resolution analyzer are 26 continuous-channel multipliers which measure ion flux in energy ranges from 100 to 8,000
electron-volts. The medium-resolution analyzer measures ions from 100 to 18,000 electron-volts and electrons from 1 to 500 electron-volts.
The instrument weighs 12 pounds and uses four watts of power.

Charged Particle Composition Experiment

Instrument: Charged Particle Instrument
Principal Investigator: John A. Simpson, University of Chicago
Co-Investigators: Joseph J. O’Gallagher, University of Maryland, College Park
Anthony J. Tuzzolino, University of Chicago
The charged particle detector contains two particle telescopes used during interplanetary flight, and two measuring systems which measure
trapped electrons and protons inside the Jovian radiation belt.
The telescopes will identify nuclei of the first eight chemical elements of the Atomic Table (hydrogen through oxygen) and separate the
isotopes deuterium, tritium, helium-3 and helium-4. In addition, the telescopes will be used for studying particles in the bow shock and
outer magnetosphere.
To handle the high intensities of Jupiter’s trapped radiation, two new sensors had to be developed. One is a silicon detector used as a
solid-state ion chamber that operates below -40 degrees. It measures high energy electrons that may generate the radio waves that reach
Earth. The other detects trapped protons by means of a foil of thorium that undergoes nuclear fission from protons above 30 million
electron-volts. The instrument weighs 7.3 pounds and uses 2.2 watts of power.

Jovian Charged Particles Experiment

Instrument: Geiger Tube Telescope
Principal Investigator: James A. Van Allen, University of Iowa, Iowa City
The Geiger tube telescope will attempt to characterize Jupiter’s belts of trapped radiation – similar to but more intense than Earth’s Van
Allen belts. The instrument uses seven Geiger-Muller tubes to survey the intensities, energy spectra, and angular distributions of electrons
and protons along Pioneer’s path through Jupiter’s magnetosphere.
The tubes are small cylinders containing gas that generate electric signals when struck by charged particles. Three are aligned in a row and
will be used as a multipurpose telescope. Three others in a triangular array will measure the number of multi-particle showers. Combining
this data will enable scientists to compare primary and secondary events in the Jovian radiation belts.
The seventh Geiger-Muller tube is a low energy electron detector whose information, when compared with that from the other tubes, will help
explain Jupiter’s bow shock wave and the tail of the planet’s magnetosphere. The instrument weighs 3.6 pounds and uses 0.7 watts of power.

Cosmic Ray Energy Spectra Experiment

Instrument: Cosmic Ray Telescope
Principal Investigator: Frank B. McDonald, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Co-Investigators: Kenneth G. McCracken, Minerals Research Laboratory, North Ryde, Australia
William R. Webber, University of New Hampshire, Durham
Edmond C. Roelof, University of New Hampshire, Durham
Bonnard J. Teegarden, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
James H. Trainor, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The Cosmic Ray Telescope will monitor solar and galactic cosmic ray particles. It will track the twisting paths of high energy particles from
the Sun and measure bending effects of the solar magnetic field on particles from the Galaxy, some traveling at near light speeds. The
instrument determines the composition of the 14 lightest elements – hydrogen through silicon – of both solar particles and low-energy
galactic cosmic rays. It also measures high-energy electrons and low- and high-energy protons in Jupiter’s radiation belts.
Pioneer to Jupiter 33

The instrument consists of three three-element, solid-state telescopes which measure at different MEV ranges the electron and proton
propagation in the solar magnetic field, and in the tangled magnetic fields of interstellar space. The instrument weighs seven pounds and
uses 2.2 watts of power.

Jovian Trapped Radiation Experiment

Instrument: Trapped Radiation Detector
Principal Investigator: R. Walker Fillius, University of California at San Diego
Co-Investigator: Carl E. McIlwain, University of California at San Diego
This instrument will determine the nature of particles trapped by Jupiter, including the particle species, angular distribution and intensities.
It measures a broad range of energies from 0.01 to 100 MEV for electrons and from 0.15 to 350 MEV for protons.
Particle data will be correlated with Jupiter’s tremendous radio emission. Five detectors will cover the planned energy range. An unfocused
Cerenkov counter measures the direction of particle travel by light emitted in a particular direction and detects electrons of energy above 1
MEV and protons above 450 MEV. A second detector measures electrons above 100,000, 200,000 and 400,000 electron-volts.
An omni-directional counter discriminates between minimum ionizing particles at 400,000 electron-volts and high-energy protons at 1.8
million electron-volts.
Twin DC scintillation detectors measure the energy flux of low-energy particles. Their thresholds are 100,000 electron-volts for electrons
and 150,000 electron-volts for protons.
The instrument weighs 3.9 pounds and uses 2.9 watts of power.

Ultraviolet Photometry Experiment

Instrument: Ultraviolet Photometer
Principal Investigator: Darrell L. Judge, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Co-Investigator: Robert W. Carlson, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Answers to some basic questions about interplanetary and interstellar space and about Jupiter will be sought by the Ultraviolet Photometer.
During encounter, the instrument will measure the scattering of UV sunlight by Jupiter’s atmosphere in two wavelengths – 1,216 angstroms
(hydrogen) and 584 angstroms (helium). So far helium has not been identified on Jupiter but its presence is widely assumed by scientists.
Jovian Auroas, if they are present, will be identified as the intensity of UV light is measured by the instrument.
The amount of neutral helium and neutral hydrogen within the solar system will also be measured. The instrument weighs 1.5 pounds and
uses 0.7 watts of power.

Imaging Photopolarimetry Experiment

Instrument: Imaging Photopolarimeter
Principal Investigator: Tom Gehrels, University of Arizona, Tucson
Co-Investigators: David L. Coffeen, University of Arizona
William Swindell, University of Arizona
Jyrki Hameen-Anttila, University of Arizona
Charles E. KenKnight, University of Arizona
Robert F. Hummer, Santa Barbara Research Center
Jerry Weinberg, State University of New York, Albany
Martha Hanner, State University of New York, Albany
This instrument measures light intensities and linear polarization of reflected light.
Enroute to Jupiter, it will measure brightness and polarization of zodiacal light (sunlight scattered by the total mass of interplanetary dust
and soil matter) several times a month to determine the amount and character of interplanetary solid material.
During periapsis, the instrument will take images of Jupiter which will be reproduced in real time at the Ames Research Center. The fact
that the images will be taken from angles impossible to get from Earth is very important.
The instrument includes a telescope with a 3.4-inch focal length and a 1-inch aperture. It weighs 9.5 pounds and uses 2.2 watts of power.
34 Pioneer to Jupiter

Photo Imaging System

Jovian Infrared Thermal Structure Experiment

Instrument: Infrared Radiometer
Principal Investigator: Guido Munch, California Institute of Technology
Co-Investigators: Gerry Neugebauer, California Institute of Technology
Stillman C. Chase, Santa Barbara Research Center
Laurence M. Trafton, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
The infrared radiometer will help to determine if Jupiter is in fact radiating about three times more energy than it absorbs from the Sun.
The two-channel radiometer will make measurements in the 14-25 and 29-56 micron wavelengths to study the energy flux, its distribution
over the Jovian discs, and the thermal structure and chemical composition of Jupiter’s atmosphere.
Data from the infrared radiometer will help the experimenters in their search for the temperature distribution in the outer atmosphere of
Jupiter, the existence of frozen methane polar ice caps, the brightness temperature of the dark hemisphere, hot or cold spots in the
atmosphere, the reason for the hot shadows of Jupiter’s moons, the temperature of the Great Red Spot, and the relative abundance of
hydrogen and helium in the Jovian atmosphere.
It uses a fixed telescope that scans while the spacecraft revolves. It has a 3-inch diameter Cassegrain telescope, and 88-element detectors
in the two channels. The instrument weighs 4.4 pounds and uses 1.3 watts of power.

Asteroid Meteoroid Astronomy Experiment

Instrument: Asteroid Meteoroid Detector
Principal Investigator: Robert K. Soberman, General Electric Company, Philadelphia,
Drexel University, Philadelphia
Co-Investigator: Herbert A. Zook, NASA Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Texas
This instrument will look for dust concentrations and dust belts near Jupiter, thought to be especially heavy near the equatorial region.
Pioneer to Jupiter 35

Four nonimaging telescopes characterize objects ranging from several hundred miles in diameter down to particles with a mass of one
millionth of a gram by measuring sunlight reflected from them. The telescopes measure particle number, size, velocity, and direction of travel.
Each telescope, having an eight-degree field of view, is made up of a 3.3-inch secondary mirror, coupling optics and a photomultiplier tube.
Particle numbers are determined by counting photomultiplied pulses.
Because the detector is sensitive to the high radiation expected at Jupiter, it may be damaged during encounter. The instrument weighs 7.2
pounds and uses 2.2 watts of power.

Meteoroid Detection Experiment

Instrument: Meteoroid Detector
Principal Investigator: William H. Kinard, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
Co-Investigators: Robert L. O’Neal, NASA Langley Research Center
Jose M. Alvarez, NASA Langley Research Center
Donald H. Humes, NASA Langley Research Center
Richard E. Turner, NASA Langley Research Center
A system of 234 pressure cells mounted on the back of the spacecraft’s antenna detects distribution of particles in space as small as
one-billionth of a gram mass.
Each pressure cell is filled with a gas mixture of 75 per cent argon and 25 per cent nitrogen. Each time a particle penetrates a cell, it is
counted by a transducer as the gas escapes. The size of the hole may be measured by the rate of gas escape.
The required combination of mass and velocity of a particle needed to penetrate a cell has been determined in laboratory tests. With
trajectory information added, experimenters can calculate the spatial distribution of the tiny meteoroids. The instrument weighs 3.5 pounds
and uses 0.7 watts of power.

Jovian Magnetic Fields Experiment

Instrument: Fluxgate Magnetometer
Principal Investigator: Norman Ness, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Co-Investigator: Mario Acuna, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This instrument will measure the strength and direction of Jupiter’s magnetic field from very far as well as very close distances and at
extremely high values. It will measure field strengths up to 10 Gauss (1 million gamma) in each of three perpendicular directions.
The Fluxgate Magnetometer will tell whether Jupiter’s magnetic field is more like the Earth’s or the Sun’s field, a question which bears
directly on the origin of the solar system. Jupiter’s radio emissions have suggested a possible four-pole rather than two-pole magnetic field.
Measurements will be made continuously on the magnetic field along the spacecraft’s trajectory from about 12.6 Jupiter radii to the point
of closest approach.
The instrument consists of two dual-axis sensors and their electronics. It weighs 0.6 pounds and uses approximately 0.36 watts of power.
If the spacecraft passes through the same field line as that occupied by Jupiter’s moon, Io, the experimenters hope to gather data on particle
and electrodynamic effects produced by Io on radio emissions from Jupiter.

S-Band Occultation Experiment

Instrument: The Spacecraft Radio Transmitter and the DSN
Principal Investigator: Arvydas J. Kliore, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Co-Investigators: Gunnar Fjeldbo, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dan L. Cain, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Boris L. Seidel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
S. Ichtiagque Rasool, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D. C.
When Pioneer passes behind Jupiter, the radio signals will pass through the planet’s atmosphere. The refractive index profile of the
incoming radio signals as they pass through Jupiter’s atmosphere will be used to measure the electron density of Jupiter’s ionosphere and
density of the hydrogen / helium ratio in the atmosphere to the level of about one Earth atmosphere. Measurement of the signal’s strength
will also indicate the presence and amount of ammonia in the atmosphere. No weight or power are involved in this experiment which uses
the spacecraft radio.
36 Pioneer to Jupiter

Celestial Mechanics Experiment

Instrument: Pioneer and the DSN
Principal Investigator: John D. Anderson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Co-Investigator: George W. Null, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This experiment uses the Pioneer and its radio as a sensitive instrument to determine the mass of Jupiter and its satellites. It will also
determine the size of harmonics and anomalies in Jupiter’s gravity field.
While Jupiter’s gravity and mass have been calculated, it is hoped the results from this experiment will be more accurate.
Deep Space Network Doppler tracking of the spacecraft determines its velocity along the Earth-spacecraft line down to a fraction of a
millimeter per second, once per minute. These data are further augmented by optical and radar position measurements of the planets.
Computer calculations using the spacecraft trajectory and known planet and satellite orbital characteristics should verify Pioneer findings,
allowing a five-fold improvement in the accuracy of current calculations of Jupiter’s mass.
Masses of Jupiter’s four larger moons will be determined to an accuracy of about one per cent. Experimenters expect to measure the planet’s
dynamic polar flattening to a significantly greater accuracy than has been possible in the past. No weight or power facts are involved with
this experiment.


albedo The reflecting factor of a planet or other non-luminous body. A perfect reflector would have an albedo of 100 per cent.
angstrom A very small unit of length equal to 10-8 cm. used to describe the wavelength of light and other electromagnetic radiation.
aphelion The orbital position of a planet or other body when farthest from the Sun. (Compare perihelion.)
asteroids The minor planetoids, most of which move around the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
astronomical unit (AU) A unit of distance measurement equal to the mean distance between Earth and the Sun. One AU equals
92,957,000 miles.
Pioneer to Jupiter 37

atmosphere The gaseous mantle surrounding a planet or other body.

“big-bang” theory A theory of cosmology in which the expansion of the universe is presumed to have begun with a primeval explosion.
black hole A configuration of matter whose density and massive gravitational pull prevent escape of light or matter. When a
star can no longer maintain its enormously high central temperature, then its tremendous gravitational pull
collapses it and eventually it becomes a black hole.
Bode’s Law An empirical relationship between the distances of the planets from the Sun, discovered by J. D. Titus in 1772
and popularized by J. E. Bode.
bow shock wave The shock wave created by Jupiter as it moves through the solar wind.
celestial mechanics That branch of astronomy which deals with the motions and gravitational influences of the members of the solar system.
coriolis forces Deflection of a particle across the surface of a planet caused by its rotation.
density The ratio of the mass of an object to its volume.
disc The flattened appearance of a celestial body as it is observed, or the projection on the celestial sphere of that
portion of the observed body which is visible.
Doppler effect The apparent change in the wavelength of light caused by the motion of the observer. When a light emitting body
is approaching the Earth, more light-waves per second enter the observer’s eye than would be the case if the object
were stationary, so the apparent wavelength is shortened and the light seems “too blue.” Conversely, if the object
is receding, the wavelength is apparently lengthened and the light is “too red.” The actual color changes are very
slight for ordinary velocities but the effect shows up in the spectrum of the object concerned. If the dark lines are
shifted toward the red or long-wave, the object must be receding. Except for the galaxies in our Local Group, all
external systems show red shifts. It is this observational evidence that leads us to believe the universe is expanding.
ecliptic The apparent annual path of the Sun among the stars on the celestial sphere, or the projection of the Earth’s orbital
plane in the celestial sphere.
electron A negatively charged subatomic particle which orbits the nucleus of an atom at a particular energy level.
electron-volt A unit of energy that moves an electron through a potential difference of one volt.
encounter (gravitational) A near passing, on hyperbolic orbits of two objects that influence each other gravitationally.
extragalactic All the space which lies beyond our Milky Way Galaxy.
galaxy Any of numerous large-scale aggregates of stars, gas and dust, having one of a group of more or less definite
overall structures, containing an average of 100 billion solar masses and ranging in diameter from 1,500 to
300,000 light years. The galaxy of which the Earth’s Sun is a part is the Milky Way.
gamma A measure of magnetic field equal to 1/100,000th of a gauss.
gauss A measure of the strength of a magnetic field. Earth’s magnetic field is one-half gauss.
Gegenschein A very faint, diffuse glow of light opposite the Sun in the sky, believed to be caused by sunlight reflected from
interplanetary particles.
gravity The force of attraction between all particles of matter in the universe.
heliosphere That portion of space where the solar wind dominates.
inclination of axis The angle between the Earth’s axis and a line which is perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic.
inferior planets Those planets whose orbits lie closer to the Sun than does that of the Earth, i.e., Mercury and Venus.
ion A charged atom or molecule with a greater or lesser number of electrons than normal.
ionization The process by which an atom gains or loses electrons.
isotope An atom with an abnormal number of neutrons in its nucleus.
Jovian planet Any of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
light-year A measure of distance in space. The distance light travels in one year at the rate of 186, 000 miles per second –
approximately 5.88 trillion miles.
magnetic fields Lines of force which surround the north and south poles of any magnet.
magnetic storm A sudden disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field caused by charged particles sent out from the Sun and often
associated with solar flares, during which there is interference of radio communications and magnetic equipment
such as compasses.
magnetopause Outer boundary of a planet’s magnetosphere.
magnetosphere Region of a planet’s atmosphere where its magnetic field plays an important role. The Earth’s magnetosphere
extends to about 10 Earth radii. Jupiter also has an extensive magnetosphere.
mass The total material content in a body or a measure of resistance to acceleration of that body.
micrometeorite An extremely small particle, less than 1/250th of an inch in diameter, moving around the Sun. Since its mass is too
slight, a micrometeorite entering the Earth’s atmosphere does not cause a shooting star.
neutron A subatomic particle with no charge which is found in the nucleus of all atoms except hydrogen.
neutron star A star of extremely high density composed entirely of neutrons.
occultation The passage of one celestial body across a line between an observer and another celestial body. A solar eclipse,
when the Moon moves between Earth and the Sun, is an occultation.
opposition The position of a planet when it is exactly opposite the Sun in the sky. During opposition the Sun, the Earth, and
the planet are aligned, and the planet lies due south in the sky at midnight.
penumbra The outer, relatively light parts of a sunspot. The area of partial shadow lying to either side of the main cone of
shadow cast by the Earth. During a lunar eclipse, the Moon must move through the penumbra before reaching the
main shadow (umbra). Some lunar eclipses are penumbral only.
periapsis The nearest point to the center of attraction in an eccentric orbit. The closest approach to a planet.
38 Pioneer to Jupiter

perihelion The orbital position of a planet or other body when nearest to the Sun. (Compare aphelion.) The Earth reaches
perihelion in January.
perturbations The disturbances of the orbit of one body caused by the gravitational pull of others. Jupiter is a good example of
a perturber.
pixel Picture element. A data bit used in construction of an image.
plasma A gas consisting of ionized atoms and free electrons, together with some neutral particles. It is electrically neutral
and a good conductor of electricity.
polarimetry Study of the plane of vibration of light waves.
proton A subatomic particle with a positive charge which is found in the nucleus of all atoms.
pulsar A radio source which does not emit continuously, but in rapid, very regular pulses. Their periods are short (less
than a second).
quasar Celestial bodies of more than 4 billion light years in distance that are powerful emitters of radio energy
(quasistellar source).
Red Shift The Doppler displacement of spectral lines toward the red or long-wave end of the spectrum, indicating a velocity
of recession. (See Doppler effect.)
resolution Ability of an imaging system to distinguish surface features on a planet.
retrograde motion Having a direction of motion opposite to that of the Earth on its axis or of the planets around the Sun.
Roche limit The distance from the center of a planet, or other body, within which a second body would be broken up by
gravitationally induced tidal distortion. The breaking-point is a function both of tidal forces within the body and
the elastic properties of the body. Thus strong, solid objects such as artificial satellites may move safely, well
within the Roche limit for the Earth. All known planetary natural satellites lie outside the Roche limits for their
primaries, except for Saturn’s rings which lie within Saturn’s Roche limit.
S-Band Frequency used in radar and extending from 1.55 to 5.2 gigaHertz.
sidereal period The time taken for a planet or other body to make one journey around the Sun. The Earth takes 365.2 days.
solar wind A steady flow of atomic particles streaming out from the Sun in all directions. Its velocity is 600 miles per second
in the Earth’s neighborhood.
superior planets Those planets beyond the orbit of the Earth in the solar system, i.e., all the principal planets except Mercury and Venus.
synodic period The interval between successive oppositions for a superior planet; or the period between successive conjunctions
with the Sun for an inferior planet.
syzygy 1. Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with
the Sun.
2. Either of two points in the orbit of the Moon when the Moon lies in a straight line with the Sun and the Earth.
3. The configuration of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth lying in a straight line.
telemetry The science and technology of automatic measurement and transmission of data by wire, radio, or other means
from remote sources, such as space vehicles, to a receiving station for recording and analysis.
umbra The dark inner portion of a sunspot. The main cone of a shadow cast by a planet or the Moon.
Van Allen Belts Zones around the Earth made up of electrically charged particles trapped and accelerated by Earth’s magnetic
field. Detected in 1958 by James Van Allen and colleagues from results obtained by Explorer 1.
velocity of escape The speed a body must attain to pull away from the gravitational field of another body.
velocity of light The rate at which electromagnetic radiation moves in a given direction. The velocity of light in a vacuum is
186,284 miles per second.
x-ray Electromagnetic radiation of very short wavelength, between 0.1 and 100 angstroms.
zodiacal light A cone of light rising from the horizon and stretching along the ecliptic, visible only when the Sun is slightly
below the horizon and best seen on clear, Moonless evenings or mornings. It is thought to be due to sunlight
scattered by small particles near the main plane of the solar system.


ACS Attitude Control System

AOS Acquisition of Signal
ARC Ames Research Center
CMO Chief of Mission Operations
CMDO Command Operator
CRT Cosmic Ray Telescope
DEC Digital Equipment Corporation
DSN Deep Space Network
DSS Deep Space Station
DSS 11 Pioneer Station, Goldstone, California
DSS 12 Echo Station, Goldstone, California
DSS 14 Mars Station, Goldstone, California (210’)
DSS 42 Tidbinbilla (Weemala), Australia
DSS 43 Tidbinbilla (Ballima), Australia (210’)
Pioneer to Jupiter 39

DSS 44 Honeysuckle, Australia

DSS 61 Robledo, Spain
DSS 62 Cebreros, Spain
DSS 63 Madrid, Spain (210’)
EDR Experimenter Data Record
EOT End of Track
GMT Greenwich Mean Time
GTT Geiger Tube Telescope
Hz Hertz (cycles per second)
IBM International Business Machines
IPP Imaging Photopolarimeter
IR Infrared Radiometer
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory
LOS Loss of Signal
MCCC Mission Control and Computing Center
MD Meteoroid Detector
MDR Master Data Record
MHz MegaHertz
MOD Modulation (on/off)
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
PA Plasma Analyzer
PICS Pioneer Image Converting System
PMCC Pioneer Mission Computing Center
PMOC Pioneer Mission Operations Center
RCA Radius of Closest Approach
RF Radio Frequency
Rj Jupiter Radius (71, 372 km) (44, 350 miles)
RTG Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator
RTLT Round Trip Light Time
SOE Sequence of Events
TCA Time of Closest Approach
UA University of Arizona
UC University of Chicago
UCSD University of California at San Diego
UI University of Iowa
UT Universal Time, GMT, Z-time
UV Ultraviolet Photometer CONVERSION TABLES