Press Release

Volcanoes and Auroras Glow in Eclipse Movie of Jupiter’s Moon Io

By SpaceRef Editor
February 5, 2001
Filed under ,

IO's Volcanoes

° MPEG movie

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 lines.

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 available from NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., at

and 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


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.

SpaceRef staff editor.