View Changes as Jupiter Rotates
November 6, 2000
Guy Webster, JPL, (818) 354-6278
Lori Stiles, University of Arizona, (520) 626-4402
New images of Jupiter taken by the NASA's Cassini spacecraft show the
changing face of the planet as it twirls more than 360 degrees. Although
it is the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter hurries through a
complete rotation in about 10 hours. The images are an early portion of a
sequences that Cassini is taking to track changes in Jupiter's clouds over
a period of several weeks.
Another new image from Cassini, taken through
an infrared filter, shows one of Jupiter's large moons, Europa, gleaming
brightly as it passes in front of the planet.
The image is available from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,
and from the web site of the Cassini Imaging Science team at the
University of Arizona, Tucson, at
Cassini will pass most closely to Jupiter, at about 10 million kilometers
(6 million miles) away, on December 30. Images taken as it approaches and
flies past will be used for studies of atmospheric dynamics, dark rings
and other features of Jupiter. Some of the studies will be in conjunction
with observations by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, which has been orbiting
and studying Jupiter since late 1995.
Additional information about Cassini is available online 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.