Volcanoes and Auroras Glow in Eclipse Movie of Jupiter's Io
5 Feb 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Guy Webster, JPL, (818) 354-6278
Lori Stiles, University of Arizona, (520) 626-4402
The first movie ever made of Jupiter's moon Io while it is in eclipse shows bright spots of hot lava and changes in auroral glows. These images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft provide evidence that the auroras originate in electrical currents that connect Io and Jupiter along magnetic-field lines.
Other images being released today by the Cassini imaging team show auroras on the dark side of Jupiter itself, near both of the planet's poles. Jupiter's south pole aurora had never been imaged from the planet's night side before.
The images are available from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., at
and from the Cassini imaging science team at the University of Arizona, Tucson, at
Cassini made its closest pass to Jupiter on Dec. 30, 2000, gaining a gravitational boost for reaching its main destination, Saturn, in 2004. It will continue to make observations and measurements of the Jupiter system through March 2001. More information about joint studies of Jupiter by Cassini and NASA's Galileo spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter for more than five years, is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/jupiterflyby.
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.