Volcanic deposits on Io

Volcanic deposits on Io

. Massive eruptions continually disfigure the surface of Jupiterís volcanically active moon Io. Its entire surface is peppered with volcanoes, some of which are erupting as you read this. A prominent, bright red ring, 1400 kilometers across, surrounds the volcano Pele, marking the site of sulfur compounds deposited by its volcanic plumes. A dark circular area intersects the upper-right part of the red ring, 400 kilometers in diameter, that surrounds another volcanic center named Pillan Patera. The dark deposits suggest a high silicate content. Deposits of sulfur dioxide frost appear white and gray in this view, 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. This image was taken on 19 December 1997 from the Galileo spacecraft. (Courtesy of NASA and JPL.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University