New from Cassini: Jupiter Lightning Storms, Small Moon
January 23, 2001
Guy Webster, JPL, (818) 354-6278
A new batch of Jupiter images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft demonstrates
some of the ways scientists are using Cassini's camera to learn more than
what first meets the eye, such as determining particle sizes in clouds and
identifying which storms produce lightning. One new picture is the best yet
taken of the small moon Himalia, and is the first ever to show one of Jupiter's
outer moons as more than a star-like dot.
One pair of frames shows the same portion of the planet both in daylight
then after it had rotated to the night side, showing that only certain small
areas were producing lightning.
The images are available from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,
Calif., at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/jupiterflyby/
and from the Cassini Imaging Science team at the University of Arizona,
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:
Additional information about Cassini-Huygens is online at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.
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.