With the huge mass of Jupiter and its fast, approximately 10 hours daily rotation, there may be substantial twisting of space-time around it.

A distortion of such magnitude that may call for considering the effects of time dilation or twisting and smearing of the Time-space especially because of Juno's elongated orbit.

Is this still below the tolerance level of the mission or they have had to deal with it?

Today I found this article on Lense-Thirring effect on this subject which is really interesting! space-time frame dragging.

It is a bit involved mathematically but basically it says objects in orbit very near a large mass would be under a pseudo torsion opposite the orbit's direction and also the mass of orbiting object will increase if it rotates opposite the induced torsion and decreases if it rotates along the torsion. One way of describing the frame dragging is looking at it like a planetary gear box: the sun gear at the center rotating clockwise induces a torsion anti clock to planet gear and clockwise the ring gear![enter image description here]1


1 Answer 1


Not only does it use Einstein's Theory of Relativity, it's actually going to use Jupiter's huge mass to do a test that hasn't been done yet, on how it affects rotating objects. As it's expected to affect the gyroscopes, that is most certainly something that will have to be taken into account.

  • $\begingroup$ I think i read something that the gyro axis will remain constant but its rotation may by slowed down? I have a really hard time imagining a twisted space time. I can trey to see space-time curve like a view through a fish-eye lens, but twisted? $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Jul 16, 2016 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Where did you find information on this? A link on your linked page only states "obvious" measurements of acceleration by doing Doppler measurements. $\endgroup$
    – asdfex
    Jul 16, 2016 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ @kamran You don't "visualize" stuff like this, for the reasons I discuss here. Having said that, there are many elegant ways to visualize the mathematics of GTR and various principles; see the reference I cite in the physics answer. $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2016 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ Whilst I'm sure the spirit of this is absolutely true, it would be good to have a few citations. The main references I can find are that Juno will test the Lense-Thirring effect; it's not true that this hasn't been verified before as this has been detected by Gravity Probe B around the Earth. However, hopefully we'll get some lower noise data from Jupiter, although the tests can't last nearly as long as they did for GPBt $\endgroup$ Jul 17, 2016 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Rod Vance I agree with you but i am a visual person, when i was working solving structural equations i used to see all the polynomial content of a pair of brackets in one shade and the other bracket in a different shade so I could remember what happened to them down the road. Any visualization as long as you know its limitation is a great tool. I think the fact that Newton was highly skilled in geometry and could visualize and draw complex Circles and tangents was an essential part of his genius! We all learn better by visualization; look at the miracle of Khan videos! $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Jul 17, 2016 at 19:19

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