The United States spacecraft, Voyager Two, is now nearing Jupiter the largest planet in the Solar System, and, like its forerunner Voyager One, is expected to transmit film of the giant planet back to Earth.
GV Jupiter DISSOLVE TO ANIMATION OF VOYAGER II
SV Planetary astronomer Dr. Brad Smith speaking
CU Artist' impressions with Dr. Smith's 'VOICE-OVER"
CU ANIMATION Flight path of Voyager I
CU Four moons which orbit Jupiter
CU Artist's impressions of Io with volcanic explosion
CU Callisto DISSOLVE TO ANIMATION OF Voyager II flight path
REPORTER: "These plasma wave sounds were recorded by Voyager One as it passed by the planet Jupiter in March. The second spacecraft, Voyager Two, will make its closest encounter on July 9th.
"The planet Jupiter has evolved at a slower rate because of its great distance from the sun. Studying it close-up and in detail gives scientist a chance to see conditions as they may have existed very early in the formation of our Solar System, including the Earth. Planetary astronomer, Doctor Brad Smith."
SMITH: "Jupiter is first of all a large ball of gas. It may at its centre have a silicate core. That core may be surrounded by metallic or liquid hydrogen. But once one gets away from that inner core, which the Voyager certainly cannot observe, we have a gaseous atmosphere. What Voyager is able to see, is the very top of that atmosphere where clouds form and the so called tropopause. And we may be seeing individual layer of clouds, the highest most being composed of crystals of ammonia. That is, ammonia ice. And these clouds are analogous to the high cirus clouds...that form in the Earth's atmosphere."
REPORTER: "Last March, as Voyager One arched past Jupiter on its way to Saturn, its cameras recorded pictures of the four largest satellites or moons that orbit the huge Jovian planet, Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
"The bright colours of Io are believed to consist of mixtures of salts and sulphur, brought to the surface by volcanic activity and other processes. An enormous volcanic explosion was recorded about eleven hours before Voyager One's closest approach to Io, that showed solid material being thrown to an altitude of 100 miles.
"The most unusual features of the satellite Europa are the long lines which cross the surface in various directions, some over a thousand kilometres long and 300 kilometres wide.
"Ganymede, the largest satellite, is probably a mixture of rock and ice. It has impact rays similar to one on our own moon. Numerous craters that appear on the icy surface of Callisto lead scientists to believe its surface is the oldest of the four satellites of Jupiter, possibly four to four point-five billion years. Voyager Two's flight path will take it by Callisto from a different angle, and much closer to the large moons Ganymede and Europe.
"The Voyagers, returning spectacular picture and important information about our neighbours in the Solar System."
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Background: The United States spacecraft, Voyager Two, is now nearing Jupiter the largest planet in the Solar System, and, like its forerunner Voyager One, is expected to transmit film of the giant planet back to Earth. This report comes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington. It includes Voyager-One pictures of the Planet Jupiter and its surrounding moons.