Volcanic activity on Io

Volcanic activity on Io

Fig. 2.33 . Massive eruptions continuously disfigure the surface of Jupiterís satellite Io, the most volcanically active body in the solar system. As shown in this color-enhanced image, taken from the Galileo spacecraft on 19 September 1997, Ioís surface is continuously being covered by lava flowing from its volcanoes, erasing any impact craters. A bright red ring surrounds the volcano Pele, marking the site of sulfur compounds deposited by its volcanic plumes. A dark circular area, about 400 kilometers in diameter, intersects the upper-right part of the red ring and surrounds another volcanic center named Pillan Patera. Deposits of sulfur dioxide frost appear white and gray in this image, while other sulfurous materials probably cause the yellow and brown shades. Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of the volcano, and Pillan Patera is named for the Araucanian thunder, fire and volcano god. (Courtesy of NASA/JPL/U. Arizona.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University