December 16, 2004
On January 15, 2001, 17 days after it passed its closest approach to
Jupiter, NASA's Cassini spacecraft looked back to see the giant planet as a thinning crescent.
This image is a color mosaic from that day, shot from a distance of 18.3 million kilometers (11.4 million miles). The smallest visible features are roughly 110 kilometers (70 miles) across. The solar phase angle, the angle from the spacecraft to the planet to the Sun, is 120 degrees.
A crescent Io, innermost of Jupiter's four large moons, appears to the
left of Jupiter.
Cassini collected its last Jupiter images on March 22, 2001, as the
spacecraft continued the final leg of its journey to a July 1, 2004,
appointment with Saturn.
Cassini is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages Cassini for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.