NASA Releases Incredible Video of Reflective Lava Lake on Jupiter’s Hellish Moon

Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay

NASA simply launched beautiful new artist impressions of a particularly reflective lava lake on the floor of Jupiter’s moon Io.

Launched by the area company’s Jet Propulsion Lab final week, the generated clip is not precise footage recorded by a spacecraft. It is nonetheless a stunning rendition of what the view would appear like if one had been to face on the shores of the moon’s 124-mile-long Loki Patera, a magma-filled lake dotted with islands.

Nevertheless it’s not precisely a lakeside vacation vacation spot as we all know it again on Earth. The moon’s floor temperatures common a frosty -202 levels Fahrenheit, whereas its many volcanoes can attain 3,000 levels Fahrenheit.

Obsidian Lake

Io orbits Jupiter at a distance of simply 217,000 miles above the planet’s cloud tops — which is barely farther than the gap between the Moon and the Earth.

Nevertheless, Jupiter’s diameter is roughly 11 occasions that of the Earth’s, which means that the fuel big looms within the background if one had been to face on the sting of lake Loki Patera, as seen in NASA’s newest video.

JPL’s animation makes use of knowledge collected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which made extraordinarily shut fly-bys of the lonely moon in December and February of this yr, getting inside simply 930 miles of its floor.

“Io is just plagued by volcanoes, and we caught a number of of them in motion,” Juno’s principal investigator Scott Bolton mentioned throughout an April 16 information convention. “We additionally acquired some nice close-ups and different information on a 200-kilometer-long (127-mile-long) lava lake known as Loki Patera.”

The lake has lengthy intrigued astronomers due to its extraordinarily reflective floor. However not like the our bodies of water on Earth, its glinting nature is because of solely totally different properties.

“There’s superb element displaying these loopy islands embedded in the course of a probably magma lake rimmed with sizzling lava,” Bolton added. “The specular reflection our devices recorded of the lake suggests components of Io’s floor are as clean as glass, paying homage to volcanically created obsidian glass on Earth.”

Steeple Chase

Apart from a mesmerizing lake, Juno’s observations have additionally allowed scientists to glean the form of a extremely uncommon “Steeple Mountain,” which sharply juts out of the in any other case clean floor of Io.

The information may make clear one of many photo voltaic system’s greatest mysteries: how Jupiter got here to be. Latest Juno observations have supported the speculation that water-ice materials attracted heavy parts throughout its formation and evolution.

However many mysteries surrounding the fuel big stay. On Might 12, Juno will try its 61st flyby of the planet — a tireless effort that has resulted in some dramatic and never-before-seen views.

Extra on Io: NASA Spacecraft Swoops So Near Io That It Can See Volcanic Eruptions


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