During a close pass by Jupiter last February, the Juno spacecraft caught Ganymede’s shadow on the planet. The spacecraft was about 71,000 km above the cloud tops, only 6 to 7 % the distance between Jupiter and Ganymede.
An observer inside the oval shadow on Jupiter’s cloud tops would see a total eclipse of the Sun. Jupiter has four large moons (Ganymede, Io, Callisto, and Europa) that often pass between Jupiter and the Sun, so the moon shadows are often fall on the planet.
Jupiter’s moon Io is the most volcanically active world in the solar system,with hundreds of erupting volcanoes blasting lava up to 400 km high. While the New Horizons spacecraft was flying by Jupiter for a gravity assist on its way to Pluto, it took these pictures of an eruption on Io.
Hubble witnessed the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in 1994. This is a composite photo assembled from separate images of Jupiter and the comet. The comet had broken up into at least 21 separate fragments. When fragment G struck Jupiter, the impact created a giant dark spot roughly the same diameter as the Earth and was estimated to have released an energy equivalent to 6,000,000 megatons of TNT (600X the Earth’s entire nuclear arsenal).
This false color view from the JWST’s NIRCam instrument’s 2.12 micron filter shows the distinct bands that encircle Jupiter and the planet’s Great Red Spot. The iconic spot appears white in this image because of the way the infrared image was processed. The moon Europa is visible on the left, and its shadow can be seen to the left of the Great Red Spot.
A plume rises from a volcano over Jupiter’s moon Io in this image taken by the New Horizons spacecraft. The volcano Tvashtar is marked by the bright glow at the moon’s edge, beyond the day/night shadow line. The shadow of Io cuts across the plume itself. The image was recorded when the spacecraft was 2.3 million km from Io during a slingshot maneuver around Jupiter which provided a boost in the New Horizons‘ velocity for the spacecraft’s encounter Pluto in 2015 and the Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth in 2019.
This animation provides auditory and visual presentations of data collected by the Juno spacecraft’s Waves instrument during a flyby of the Jovian moon Ganymede. The animation is shorter than the duration of the flyby because the Waves data is edited onboard to reduce telemetry requirements.
The abrupt change to higher frequencies around the midpoint of the recording occurs as the spacecraft moves from one region of Ganymede’s magnetosphere to another. The actual frequency range of the data is from 10 to 50 kHz. The animation audio has been shifted to a lower range audible to human ears.
Callisto is the one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter, the second largest. Its surface is old, showing the highest coverage by impact craters of any large body in the Solar System, but it has no volcanoes or large mountains. Callisto’s surface is one large ice-field, littered with cracksand craters from billions of years of collisions. This picture was taken in 2001 by the Galileo spacecraft.
I made a very minor contribution to one of the instruments on Lucy. This is a long term mission. I’ll be 76 when the the spacecraft makes its main belt flyby, almost 81 when it makes the last flyby in the Greek camp of Trojan asteroids, and 85 when it flies through the Trojan camp.
This animation was created using images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994. The impact sites of the fragments of comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 are visible as dark brown spots in the planet’s southern hemisphere.