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Voyager at 40: 40 Photos from NASA's Epic 'Grand Tour' Mission



Voyager 1 image of Io showing the active plume of the volcano Loki. The heart-shaped feature southeast of Loki consists of fallout deposits from the active plume Pele. The images that make up this mosaic were taken from an average distance of approximately 340,000 miles (490,000 kilometers).

Pele's Eruption


The eruption of Pele on Jupiter's moon Io, as seen by Voyager 1 in March 1979. The volcanic plume rises 186 miles (300 kilometers) above Io's surface in an umbrella-like shape. The plume fallout covers an area the size of Alaska. The vent is a dark spot just north of the triangular-shaped plateau (right center). To the left, the surface is covered by colorful lava flows rich in sulfur.

Mapping Io


This map of Jupiter's moon Io was produced by combining the best images from both the Voyager 1 and Galileo missions.

Looking Back at Saturn


Voyager 1 looked back at Saturn on Nov. 16, 1980, four days after the spacecraft flew past the planet, to observe the appearance of Saturn and its rings from this unique perspective. The probe was about 3.3 million miles (5.3 million kilometers) from the planet at the time.

Rings, Moons and All


Voyager 2 view of Saturn and four of its moons (Tethys, Dione, Rhea and Mimas), taken in August 1981.

In Its Glory


Another view of Saturn by Voyager 2.

Colorful Saturn


Color-enhanced image of Saturn taken by Voyager 1 on October 18, 1980, 25 days before closest approach.

Unknown Textures


This Voyager 2 view — taken on Aug. 22, 1981, at a distance of 2.5 million miles (4 million km) from Saturn — shows "spokes" in the planet's famous rings. 

Compositional Differences


This enhanced-color view of Saturn's rings, taken by Voyager 2 in August 1981, shows possible differences in composition.



Voyager 2 image of Saturn's icy, ocean-harboring moon Enceladus, captured in August 1981.

Mike Wall
SPACE.COM SENIOR SPACE WRITER — Michael has been writing for since 2010. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter. 

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