NASA spots monster gas cloud around Jupiter moon

Using a sensitive new imaging instrument on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, researchers have discovered a large and surprisingly dense gas cloud sharing an orbit with Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Stretching millions of miles around Jupiter, the donut-shaped cloud, known as a “torus,” is believed to result from the uncommonly severe bombardment of ion radiation that Jupiter sends toward Europa. That radiation damages Europa’s surface, kicking up and pulling apart water-ice molecules and dispersing them along Europa’s orbit into a neutral-gas torus with a mass of about 60,000 tons.

Cassini Spacecraft Camera Sights Saturn

Thar she blows.The Cassini Imaging Team today is releasing a color composite image of Saturn and its moon, Titan, 20 months before the Cassini spacecraft arrives at the planet. The image is available online from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at and from the Cassini Imaging Team’s University of Arizona site. The image shows the shadow of the planet falling across its famous rings and includes Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.