Cassini Jupiter Science

This true color mosaic of Jupiter was constructed from images taken by the narrow angle camera onboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

On this page:

  • Overview: Purposes of studying Jupiter and instrument roles
  • Jupiter Data: Links to find general Jupiter data resources


Cassini-Huygens made its closest approach to Jupiter at a distance of 6.2 million miles (10 million kilometers) on Dec 30, 2000. Observations of the planet, rings, and moons were made during the months before and after this date. The first image was obtained on Oct 1, 2000 and the last on Mar 22, 2001 with IR and UV observations in the interval. Global mapping of Jupiter spanned a period from Oct 1-Dec 9, 2000, followed by a period of multi-instrument observations.
All Cassini instruments except Radio Science and the Ion/Neutral Mass Spectrometer participated in the Jupiter flyby, which was categorized as an engineering exercise. This and the flyby distance placed strong constraints on the teams. Much of the effort was directed toward characterizing the instruments, improving calibration and gaining insight in operation of the spacecraft. The field and particles instruments carried out observations to further characterize the field and its interaction with the solar wind. This was done in collaboration with the Galileo mission that was in orbit around Jupiter. The optical instruments obtained time-lapse observations of Jupiter’s atmosphere, satellites and rings and the torus over a wider frequency range than before.
The Cassini Mission Final Report (in preparation) summarizes the status of science, in 2018, as a result of Cassini exploration. It also includes open questions that will be explored by future scientists.

Mission Objectives

  • Jupiter and Satellite Studies (J_AO1) – Extend the time for studies of atmospheric dynamics and variable satellite phenomena, specifically Io volcanism, beyond the period accessible to the Galileo nominal mission.
  • Jupiter Global Atmospheric Structure and Composition (J_AO2) – Infer global atmospheric thermal structure and composition with instrumentation not carried by the Galileo orbiter, complementing the local in situ measurements of the Galileo probe.
  • Jupiter Magnetospheric Studies (J_AO3) – Explore the dusk side of the magnetosphere and intermediate regions of the magnetotail unvisited by previous spacecraft.
  • Jupiter Io Torus (J_AO4) – Obtain the first high-resolution images of the Io torus.

Key Publications

Jupiter Data

Data that spans the entire mission, and which may help understand all of the sub-topics below.


CIRS Archive
  • Links to raw data products along with reference tables to aid in finding archived data files related to observations of the Jovian system.
  • The folders within the link are formatted as 'cocirs_yymm' where 'yymm' indicate the year and month.
  • More details about these data volumes can be found on the CIRS page.
ISS Data Volumes
  • The bulk of the ISS Jupiter data is in Volume 2 and Volume 3 of the Earth/Venus/Jupiter EDR Data Sets
  • These Data Volumes provide data sets of raw images (EDRs) from ISS and are located at the PDS Imaging node.
  • Additional information can be found at the PDS Imaging Node.
  • More details about these data volumes can be found on the ISS page.
UVIS Archive Links
VIMS Data Volumes
  • The bulk of the VIMS Jupiter data is in Volume 2.
  • These Data Volumes provide raw cube data and documentation.
  • The Data Volumes include VIMS QUBE EDRs and VIMS Spectral Cubes.
  • More details about these data volumes can be found on the VIMS page.
CDA Archive Links
HRD Archive Links - The High Rate Detector is an independent part of the CDA instrument that measures the dust flux and particle mass distribution of dust particles hitting the HRD detectors.
CAPS Archive Links
MAG Archive Links
MIMI Archive Links
RPWS Archive Links
Derived Products Cassini's Best Maps of Jupiter
  • A Cylindrical Map (PIA07782) with and without grid
  • A North Polar Map (PIA07783) with and without grid
  • A South Polar Map (PIA07784) with and without grid

For questions and comments, visit the PDS Cassini Contact Page