Juno probe photographed Jupiter’s volcanic moon

The Juno mission support group published an image taken on December 14, 2022. You can see Io on it.

An image of Io taken by the Juno device. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Io is the most geologically active body in the Solar System. There are hundreds of active volcanoes on its surface, which are constantly erupting. The length of their lava flows can reach hundreds of kilometers. Also on Io there are whole lakes filled with molten sulfur.

This incredible activity is due to a combination of tidal interactions between Io and Jupiter, as well as its other large moons — Europa and Ganymede. Incessant eruptions constantly “reshape” Io’s map and paint its surface in various shades of yellow, white, red, black and green. Because of this, scientists sometimes jokingly compare this moon with pizza.

The image of Io was taken during Juno’s 47th approach to Jupiter. The shooting distance was 64 thousand km. During this visit, the device experienced a malfunction in the onboard computer’s memory. Because of this, the engineers had to reboot it. The operation was successful, which made it possible to start transmitting the data collected during the flight, among which was an Io image.

Recall that in December 2023 and February 2024, Juno will carry out much closer flights of Io. Their distance will be less than 1500 km. Scientists are looking forward to these visits, because this will be the first close look at this unusual volcanic world in the last two decades.

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time