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Raw Footage of Jupiter from Voyager 1 (1979)

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This raw movie footage was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it raced towards Jupiter in February 1979. Clearly visible is the constantly changing attitude of Voyager’s scan platform, which houses the narrow angle camera that took this particular sequence.Β In total, 3531 frames were aligned to produce this film.

This 33 year old moving image of Jupiter has an old quality, and yet it still feels like the future. A few facts to narrate over this silent film:Β 

Jupiter is the fourth brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the Moon and Venus)… in 1610 when Galileo first pointed a telescope at the sky he discovered upiter’s four large moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto (now known as the Galilean moons)…

Jupiter was first visited byΒ Pioneer 10Β in 1973 and later byΒ Pioneer 11,Β Voyager 1,Β Voyager 2Β andΒ Ulysses. The spacecraftΒ GalileoΒ orbited Jupiter for eight years. It is still regularly observed by theΒ Hubble Space Telescope.

The gas planets do not have solid surfaces, their gaseous material simply gets denser with depth… What we see when looking at these planets is the tops of clouds high in their atmospheres…Β 

Jupiter is about 90%Β hydrogenΒ and 10%Β helium… with traces of methane, water, ammonia and “rock”. This is very close to the composition of the primordialΒ Solar NebulaΒ from which the entire solar system was formed.Β SaturnΒ has a similar composition, butΒ UranusΒ andΒ NeptuneΒ have much less hydrogen and helium.


Learn more about Jupiter via videos on this site.

via @spacefuture.

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