CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Lights In The Night

This Voyager 1 image was taken of Jupiter's darkside on March 5, 1979. The picture is a 3 minute, 12 second exposure by the wide angle camera taken when the spacecraft was in Jupiter's shadow, about 6 hours after closest approach to the planet at a distance of 320,000 miles.

Jupiter's north pole is on the limb toward the upper center. The long bright double streak is an aurora on Jupiter's limb near its north pole. The other bright spots probably are lightning but could be auroral features. The aurora s structure may be real or it may be caused by scan platform stepping during the exposure.

The diagonal displacement of bright spots within each of the three active regions is due generally to the scan platform stepping; but the patterns do not reproduce in detail nor do they exhibit exactly the displacements of the camera during the exposure. As lightning flashes they are comparable to the brightness of superbolts seen at the tops of terrestrial tropical thunderstorms. As auroral features they would be required to be much brighter than those on Earth.

The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Acquired: March 1979
  Lights In The Night
PIA 00204

Full Size 800x800:
PNG 214 KB