Picture Releases Become More Frequent as Cassini Nears Jupiter
18 Dec 2000
(Source: University of Arizona)
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Lori Stiles, University of Arizona, (520) 626-4402
A striking color picture showing mottled cloud patterns near Jupiter's north pole begins a sequence of more frequent release of Jupiter images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft as the craft gets nearer to the planet over the next two weeks.
The picture of how cloud patterns at high latitude differ from the familiar horizontal bands around Jupiter's middle is available from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., at
and from the web site of the Cassini Imaging Science team at the University of Arizona, Tucson, at
The imaging team and JPL plan to release pictures almost daily from now through Cassini's closest approach to Jupiter, on Dec. 30. The images will likely include shots of Jupiter's moons and rings, as well as its clouds. They will be available at the web sites given above. Cassini is already close enough to Jupiter to return higher-resolution images than possible with the planetary camera of NASA's Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
Cassini will use a boost from Jupiter's gravity to reach its ultimate destination, Saturn. While near Jupiter, it is studying that planet in collaboration with NASA's Galileo spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter since Dec. 7, 1995. More information on the joint Cassini-Galileo observations is available at
Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the Cassini and Galileo missions for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.