NASA Juno Spacecraft Finds Another Possible Volcano On Jupiter Moon Io

Posted: Jul 15 2018, 12:37am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA Juno Spacecraft Finds Another Possible Volcano on Jupiter Moon Io
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

So far, researchers have located more than 150 active volcanoes on Io. They believe that many more are waiting to be discovered

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has found evidence of a new heat source around the south pole of Jupiter’s moon Io. Researchers suspect that it may be a previously unknown volcano.

The discovery is based on the observations made with Juno’s Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument. The observations occurred on Dec. 16, 2017, during a close flyby of the Jupiter. At the time the data was collected, Juno spacecraft was about 290,000 miles away from the moon.

“The new Io hotspot JIRAM picked up is about 200 miles (300 kilometers) from the nearest previously mapped hotspot," said Alessandro Mura, a Juno co-investigator from the National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome. "We are not ruling out movement or modification of a previously discovered hot spot, but it is difficult to imagine one could travel such a distance and still be considered the same feature."

Io is the most volcanically active world in the Solar System and harbors hundreds of erupting volcanoes, some of which blast lava as high as 250 miles. The intense geological activity of Io is the result of the tidal heat, a gravitational tug-of-war between Jupiter and its moons.

Juno team will continue to analyze data from Juno's recent flyby so that they can confirm the discovery.

Launched in August 2011, Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016. Since then, it has been trying to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere and even exploring the far reaches of space dominated by Jupiter's magnetic field. The spacecraft has logged nearly 146 million miles to complete its 12 science passes. Juno's 13th science pass will be on July 16.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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