On January 15, 2001, Cassini resumed repeated imaging of Jupiter as it began its departure from the Jovian system. At this time, and throughout the departure phase, only a planetary crescent was visible. The image at left is a color mosaic taken around 18:30 UTC (spacecraft time) on January 15, 2001 when the spacecraft was at 120 degrees solar phase, 2.75 degrees below the equator plane and 18.3 million km from the planet. The smallest features are roughly 110 kilometers across. A crescent Io appears over the limb of Jupiter.
Imaging data were collected in the months following this observation. The last Jupiter images were taken on March 22, 2001. At that point, Cassini began the final leg of its journey to Saturn. Anticipated arrival: July 1, 2004.
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 Office of Space Science, 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.