Views of Io's Busy Volcanoes Come from Galileo
26 Feb 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
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New imagery of Jupiter's moon Io, including a flyover animation of one volcanic area and three-dimensional views of another, shows a world so volcanically hyperactive that nearly its entire surface is likely to be lava that's still in various stages of cooling.
The images are based on observations made by NASA's Galileo spacecraft during flights close to Io in 1999 and 2000, and are available online from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., at
and from the University of Arizona's Planetary Image Research Laboratory, Tucson, at
Scientists are studying these images and other Galileo data for a better understanding of how Io's mountains form, how much heat Io generates internally and other questions. The extreme heat of the lava erupting on Io makes that world today a model for the type of volcanism Earth experienced billions of years ago.
Galileo has been orbiting Jupiter and its moons since December 1995. More information about the mission is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages Galileo for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.