Cassini spots Jupiter

Tom's blog has a spectacular image of Jupiter taken by Cassini back at the end of 2000. Seeing it reminded me of a recent Cassini image of Jupiter from the other day. The 2000 image was taken as Cassini hurtled by the largest planet in the solar system but the most recent one was taken from its orbit around Saturn. That means that it was taken from a distance of 11 AU or roughly the same as the maximum separation of Earth and Saturn. In other terms, that is twice the distance that Jupiter is from the Earth and that makes the image even more impressive! I usually think of planetary missions as somehow being confined to the planet they are visiting so I'm always bowled over when they do 'real' astronomy.

Jupiter is imaged here from more than 11 times the distance between Earth and the Sun, or slightly farther than the average Earth-Saturn distance. CREDIT: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 25th Mar 2007 (23:20 GMT) | Permalink
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