With the huge, colorful face of Jupiter as a backdrop to keep sizes in perspective, three of that planet’s four major moons are on display in new images for release today and tomorrow from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
    Europa and Callisto are aligned with each other and the center of Jupiter in a true-color Cassini picture available online today 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/ .
    A Cassini picture of the moon Ganymede at Jupiter will be available Friday, Dec. 22.
    NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which has been orbiting Jupiter for five years, recently found evidence of a liquid ocean hidden below Ganymede’s surface. Galileo will fly past Ganymede for another close encounter on Dec. 28.
    Cassini will pass Jupiter at a distance of about 9.7 million kilometers (6 million miles) on Dec. 30. The spacecraft will use a boost from Jupiter’s gravity to reach its ultimate destination, Saturn, in July 2004. Additional information from collaborative studies of Jupiter by Cassini and NASA’s Galileo spacecraft is available online 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.