Jan 29, 2008

Eclipse of the Sun by Jupiter

Take a look at the picture above. It is an eclipse of the Sun by Jupiter, as viewed from Galileo spacecraft. Small dust particles high in Jupiter's atmosphere, as well as the dust particles that compose the rings, can be seen by reflected sunlight.

Ever wonder why does planet Jupiter have rings? Jupiter's rings were discovered in 1979 by the passing Voyager 1 spacecraft, but their origin was a mystery. Data from the Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003 later confirmed that these rings were created by meteoroid impacts on small nearby moons. As a small meteoroid strikes tiny Adrastea, for example, it will bore into the moon, vaporize, and explode dirt and dust off into a Jovian orbit. NASA


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