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

Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay

NASA simply launched gorgeous 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 seem like if one have 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 space between the Moon and the Earth.

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

JPL’s animation makes use of information 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 solely affected by volcanoes, and we caught just a few 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 knowledge on a 200-kilometer-long (127-mile-long) lava lake referred to as Loki Patera.”

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

“There may be wonderful element exhibiting these loopy islands embedded in the course of a doubtlessly magma lake rimmed with scorching lava,” Bolton added. “The specular reflection our devices recorded of the lake suggests elements of Io’s floor are as easy 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 easy floor of Io.

The info might make clear one of many photo voltaic system’s largest 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 gasoline large 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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