Jupiter’s high-altitude clouds scoot and swirl in a brief
movie clip assembled from images taken by NASA’s Cassini
spacecraft, now approaching the giant planet.

In the part of the spectrum used for the images, high
clouds appear bright. Some small clouds brighten rapidly,
suggesting strong upward movement, such as that seen in

Another newly released image from Cassini catches the
moon Io to the left of Jupiter and shows details in the Great
Red Spot.

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


and from the web site of the Cassini Imaging Science team at
the University of Arizona, Tucson, at

http://ciclops.lpl.arizona.edu/ .

Cassini will pass most closely to Jupiter, at a flyby
distance of about 10 million kilometers (6 million miles), on
Dec. 30. It will use a boost from Jupiter’s gravity to reach
its ultimate destination, Saturn. While near Jupiter, it is
studying that planet’s atmosphere, magnetic field and rings in
collaboration with NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which has been
orbiting Jupiter since Dec. 7, 1995. More information on the
joint Cassini-Galileo observations is available at

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/jupiterflyby .

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.