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Jupiters Magnetosphere Made Visible
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Jupiter's Magnetosphere Made Visible

September 26, 2003
Three features are sketched in for context: a black circle showing the sizeof Jupiter, lines of Jupiter's magnetic field, and a cross-section of theIo torus, a doughnut-shaped ring of charged particles that originate fromvolcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io and circle Jupiter at about theorbit of Io.

Jupiter's magnetosphere is the largest object in the solar system. If itglowed in wavelengths visible to the eye, it would appear two to threetimes the size of the Sun or Moon to viewers on Earth.

Cassini's ion and neutral camera detects neutral atoms expelled from themagnetosphere, deriving information about their source. This image wastaken shortly after Cassini's closest approach to Jupiter, about 10million kilometers (6 million miles) from the planet on Dec. 30, 2000