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Voyager's first close-ups of Jupiter and Io

Fran Bagenal

November 26, 2013

Voyager's first close-ups of Jupiter and Io

March 6, 1979 was quite a day! We got our first close up views of Jupiter's dynamic cloud system - and then the bizarre lava-covered surface of Io. I was at Goddard Space Flight Center waiting for the Plasma Science data to come across the line-printer to reveal the ions of sulfur and oxygen - products of the volcanic gases escaping from Io. I remember that the next day this picture (or one like it) was on the front page of the New York Times. Voyager launched the careers of so many of us who later worked with Galileo, Cassini and, soon, Juno data at Jupiter. I sure hope we get a mission to find out what that brown gunk is on Europa before I lose all my marbles!

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