‘Glass-smooth lake of cooling lava’ discovered on surface of Jupiter’s moon Io

A brand new NASA animation reveals an unlimited lava lake on the floor of Jupiter’s moon Io, stories Reside Science.

The close-up view comes from NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which swept inside 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of the volcanic floor of Io in December 2023 and January 2024.

These flybys offered the closest look ever at Jupiter’s innermost massive moon.

Io hosts a whole bunch of energetic volcanoes. Based on NASA, their eruptions are typically so highly effective that they are often seen with telescopes on Earth, in line with NASA.

The brand new photos present Loki Patera, a 127-mile-long (200 km) lava lake on Io’s floor. Scientists have been observing this lava lake for many years. It sits over the magma reservoirs below Io’s floor. The cooling lava on the heart of the lake is ringed by probably molten magma across the edges, Scott Bolton, principal investigator  for the Juno mission, mentioned throughout a information convention on the European Geophysical Union Common Meeting in Vienna.

“The specular reflection our devices recorded of the lake suggests components of Io’s floor are as {smooth} as glass, harking back to volcanically created obsidian glass on Earth,” Bolton mentioned.

Juno’s devices have decided that Io’s floor is smoother than the surfaces of Jupiter’s three different Galilean moons (Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto). Io is barely bigger than Earth’s moon, and the surfaces that are not molten are largely coated with yellow sulfur and sulfur dioxide.


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