Cassini's Sleighful of Jupiter Pictures: Golden Ornament, Silvery Ring

Dec. 20, 2000

The highly volcanic moon Io hangs like a golden ornament in front of Jupiter in one of the new images available from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The picture was taken Dec. 12.

Another newly released image is a set of 10 frames showing a portion of Jupiter's main ring. The frames were taken over a period spanning 39.5 hours, beginning Dec. 11, and were processed to make the very faint ring more visible.

The images are available from the Cassini Imaging Science team at the University of Arizona, Tucson, at and at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab web site

Cassini will pass Jupiter at a distance of about 9.7 million kilometers (6 million miles) on Dec. 30. The spacecraft will use a boost from Jupiter's gravity to reach its ultimate destination, Saturn, in July 2004. Additional information from collaborative studies of Jupiter by Cassini and NASA's Galileo spacecraft 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.

***EDITORS: The Cassini Imaging Team will release images of Jupiter over the weekend and on Christmas Day, suspend picture releases Dec. 26 and 27, and resume picture releases Dec. 28, said Carolyn Porco, team leader.

The JPL Media Relations Office advises that Cassini science studies of Jupiter have been suspended, beginning today, for at least a few days while NASA's Cassini spacecraft flight team runs tests on one of the craft's maneuvering systems. For more on Cassini Mission Status, contact the JPL Media Relations Office, (818) 354-5011.


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