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Jupiter's Magnetosphere

This image, taken on January 4 and 5, 2001, by the ion and neutral mass spectrometer instrument on the Cassini spacecraft, makes the huge magnetosphere surrounding Jupiter visible in a way no instrument on any previous spacecraft has been able to do. The magnetosphere is a bubble of charged particles trapped within the magnetic environment of the planet. In this picture, a magnetic field is sketched over the image to place the energetic neutral atom emissions in perspective. This sketch extends in the horizontal plane to a width 30 times the radius of Jupiter. Also shown for scale and location are the disk of Jupiter (black circle) and the approximate position (yellow circles) of the doughnut-shaped torus created from material spewed out by volcanoes on Io, one of Jupiter's large moons.

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