Double plumes spotted on Jupiter’s ferocious volcanic moon

Double plumes spotted on Jupiter’s ferocious volcanic moon

NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured new images of Jupiter’s moon Io during its latest flyby, arriving eerily close to the most volcanically active world in the solar system for the second time in less than two months. The close encounter also shows what appears to be a pair of plumes exploding from the moon’s surface.

On Saturday, Juno made its second closest flyby of Io, traveling 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) away from the moon. During its rendezvous, the spacecraft got a clear view of Io’s chaotic terrain, revealing some of the hundreds of volcanoes and molten silicate lava sweeping its surface.

Raw the pictures Provided by NASA, it’s primed and ready for the processing pleasure of visual designers and online space enthusiasts. A close-up of one of the images may also reveal two plumes erupting from Io’s surface, “emanating either from two vents from a single supervolcano, or from two volcanoes near each other,” according to Southwest Research Institute. The team behind the Juno mission is still analyzing data collected through this week’s flyby to better understand what exactly is happening in the image.

NASA's Juno spacecraft made its second flyby of Io on February 3.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft made its second flyby of Io on February 3.
picture: NASA/SWRI

NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which has been studying the Jovian system since 2016, recently turned its attention to Jupiter’s third-largest moon. Juno observed Io during its previous flybys in May and July 2023 I took a cozy family photo of Jupiter and Io In September 2023, the gas giant and its moon will be revealed side by side.

On December 30, The Jupiter probe took its first close look at IoIt flew 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) away from its hellish surface. This represents the closest flyby of Jupiter’s moon, not just by Juno but by any spacecraft, in 20 years. Close-up images revealed Io’s distorted surface in great detail, which got its distinctive orange color from sulfur erupting from its volcanoes.

Image for an article titled Double plumes spotted on Jupiter's ferocious volcanic moon

picture: NASA

As the innermost of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, Io is caught between the planet’s immense gravitational pull and the gravitational pull of its sister moons Europa and Ganymede. This contributes to the Moon’s volcanic activity as Io is constantly being stretched and compressed due to its position. Io’s surface is marred by hundreds of volcanoes and lakes of molten silicate lava that appear as burnt scars across its tortured landscape.

Scientists are using a pair of close flybys to find out if Io harbors a magma ocean beneath its crust, according to NASA. The Juno science team will study how often volcanoes on Io erupt, how bright and hot they are, and how the shape of the lava flow changes. A group of scientists from the Southwest Research Institute, located in San Antonio, Texas, will also study how Io’s volcanic activity relates to the flow of charged particles in Jupiter’s magnetosphere by combining Juno data with Juno data. Remote observations by the Hubble and Webb space telescopes.

Juno is scheduled to make another flyby of Io on September 20, carefully approaching the turbulent world for a third close encounter.

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(tags for translation) Jupiter

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