Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I told you moons was where its at. Mars is geologically inert (no volcanic activity), Venus is too hot to visit, Mercury is a cinder, and rest are gas giants (because Pluto is no longer a planet!).
Its the vast array of moons that we have where the most spectacular things are happening.

Io, Jupiters moon is a hotbed of activity. Jupiter is playing Io like an accordian. The surface is being pulled upto 250km upwards to Jupiter at its closest orbit, and back down at its furthest orbit. This constant back and forth creates incredible friction inside Io, and as a result it constantly spews sulphur volcanoes. Mapping Io is impossible as the surface never remains the same, due to constant eruptions.

We even caught a volcano on camera. It is estimated that this eruption of sulphur and methane is 500km high.


1 comment:

Alexander said...

Wasn't this one in Snow White?

"Io Io, it's off to work we go" (ahem) :D

Io is a great name for a moon though. That photo is quite bizzare. Looks like something viewed under a high powered microscope.