Volcanoes and Auroras Glow in Eclipse Movie of Jupiter's Moon Io
February 5, 2001
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
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 also available 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:
Additional information about Cassini-Huygens is online at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.
The Cassini spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Saturn in July 2004 to
begin a four-year exploration of the ringed planet and its moons. The
Cassini mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif., for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a
division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.