Thursday, May 26, 2011


From, this is simply my favorite spherical body in our Solar system. Makes me want to eat a pizza. Just beautiful. Look at the plume! Can you imagine being on Io's surface and looking up at that thing? One the few things that fully deserves the overused phrase: Awesome.

For those with carpal-tunnel syndrome, or plain old arthritis:

What's happening on Jupiter's moon Io? Two sulfurous eruptions are visible on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io in this color composite image from the robotic Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003.

At the image top, over Io's limb, a bluish plume rises about 140 kilometers above the surface of a volcanic caldera known as Pillan Patera. In the image middle, near the night/day shadow line, the ring shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 75 kilometers above Io while casting a shadow below the volcanic vent.

Named for the Greek god who gave mortals fire, the Prometheus plume is visible in every image ever made of the region dating back to the Voyager flybys of 1979 - presenting the possibility that this plume has been continuously active for at least 18 years.
Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA

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