Space

Breathtaking NASA video shows Jupiter’s moons race across its great red storm

It’s been over a year since NASA’s Cassini spacecraft plunged to its death after orbiting Saturn for an impressive thirteen years.

Yet even from the grave, the exquisite images from this stalwart probe continue to take our breath away.

Using photographs from Cassini’s flyby of Jupiter and its moons, NASA employee Kevin M. Gill has created an absolutely stunning gif, which he released in September 2018 for our pleasure.

Entitled “The Voyage of the Moons”, the first part of the video features Jupiter’s moons Europa and Io, as they slide across Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

These are the inner two of Jupiter’s four largest moons (about the same size as our own). And they are both remarkable, but for very different reasons.

With over 400 active volcanoes, Io is the most geologically active object in the Solar System, and Europa has the smoothest surface of any known solid object in the Solar System.

In action, their splendour is only magnified.

The second part of the video is equally impressive. It gives a close-up of Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest in the entire Solar System: Titan.

This mammoth moon is famous for being the only world besides Earth that is home to standing bodies of liquid, including rivers, lakes and seas.

As the video pans across Saturn, we can now watch as this icy water world traces its way along the planet’s glorious rings. 

And soon, we could have even more beautiful videos just like these. Gill recently tweeted about a new project he was working on: a flyover of Jupiter, using images from NASA’s Juno probe.

By the looks of it, it’s going to blow our minds.

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