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During its 1979 flyby, Voyager 2 observed Io only from a distance. However, the volcanic activity discovered by Voyager 1 months earlier was readily visible. This sequence of nine color images was collected using the Blue, Green and Orange filters from about 1.2 million kilometers. A 2.5 hour period is covered during which Io rotates 7 degrees.
Rotating into view over the limb of Io are the plumes of the volcanoes Amirani (top) and Maui (lower). These plumes are very distinct against the black sky because they are being illuminated from behind. Notice that as Io rotates, the proportion of Io which is sunlit decreases greatly. This changing phase angle is because Io is moving between the spacecraft and the Sun.
This time-lapse movie was produced at JPL by the Image Processing Laboratory in 1985.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini-Huygens mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The imaging team consists of scientists from the US, England, France, and Germany. The imaging operations center and team lead (Dr. C. Porco) are based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.