Planetary archive: Jupiter, Europa and Io

Europa floats in front of Jupiter's turbulent clouds below. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Europa floats in front of Jupiter’s turbulent clouds below, as seen by Voyager 1 in 1979.
Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

These are a couple of great images from many years ago, taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it passed Jupiter. The first, in dramatic black & white, shows the moon Europa (with its subsurface ocean) passing in front of Jupiter’s turbulent clouds below, including the Great Red Spot on the left. It kind of looks like a Van Gogh painting, but it’s very real.

Europa (left) and Io (right) pass in front of Jupiter in this Voyager 1 image from 1979. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
Europa (left) and Io (right) pass in front of Jupiter in this Voyager 1 image from 1979.
Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

The second shows Jupiter in beautiful full colour, with the moons Europa on the left and Io (the most volcanically active body known in the solar system) on the right.

Even decades later, these are still some of the most iconic planetary images ever taken…

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