Photos of the Sun

Io about jupiter. The Sun and the giant planets

Io about jupiter. The Sun and the giant planets

The most active volcanic body in the Solar System, Io, is 3,600 kilometers in diameter, almost the size of the only large natural satellite on planet Earth, our Moon.

Gliding through Jupiter at the end of the millennium, the Cassini probe captured this overwhelming view of the Io asset with the much larger gas giant as a backdrop, offering an impressive demonstration of the relative size of the ruling planet.

Although in the photo Io appears to be located just in front of the swirling jovian clouds, Io launches around the orbit every 42 hours at a distance of about 420,000 kilometers from the center of Jupiter. That puts it almost 350,000 kilometers above the cloud roofs of Jupiter, roughly equivalent to the distance between Earth and the Moon.

The Cassini spacecraft itself was about 10 million kilometers from Jupiter when it took the image data.

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Jupiter and GanymedeSaturn at night
Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: The Sun and the giant planets