Io’s fiery volcanoes in infrared

Io’s volcanoes seen in infrared. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM/Roman Tkachenko

All volcanoes, all the time – that’s what it’s like on Jupiter’s moon Io, which is volcanically active on pretty much a constant basis. These new images of the moon were taken by the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter. In infrared, the glowing heat from the multiple volcanoes stands out brilliantly against the darker background. Io has over 400 known volcanoes and is the most volcanically active body in the Solar System. Io is small, but tidal heating from friction generated within the moon’s interior, as it is pulled between Jupiter and the other larger moons, keeps the interior iron core molten. The volcanoes produce plumes of sulfur and sulfur dioxide that can reach as high as 500 kilometres (300 miles) above the surface.

Overlay of known volcanoes on the infrared image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM/Roman Tkachenko

Thanks to Roman Tkachenko for the use of his processed Juno images.

 

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