NASA's Juno spots volcano on Jupiter's moon Io

James Marshall
July 16, 2018

At that time, the Juno spacecraft was about 290,000 miles away from Io.

"The new Io hotspot JIRAM picked up is about 300 kilometres from the nearest previously mapped hotspot", Alessandro Mura, a Juno co-investigator from the National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome, Italy, said in a statement.

NASA has now apparently found the indication of another volcano in the South pole of Jupiter's moon Io by using data collected from Juno spacecraft.

NASA is still analyzing the data that Juno collected during its previous flyby on Io, and is expecting more clues on the hidden volcano to arrive after the next Io flyby that is planned on July 16.

Juno spacecraft made a close flyby to Io on December 16, 2017, and it was during this close approach that NASA initially came to know about the mysterious heat source which was never documented before.

"We don't rule out the movement or modification of previously discovered hotspots, but it's hard to imagine a person who can travel so far and still be considered the same feature", Mura added.

Data from NASA's Juno mission uncovered that Jupiter's moon Io could have a previously unknown volcano close to its South Pole. Now, scientists estimate that the moon might have 250 more volcanos.

Launched in August 2011, Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016. The image was generated from data collected on December 16, 2017, by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard NASA " s Juno mission when the spacecraft was about 290,000 miles (470,000 kilometers) from the Jovian moon. Now the probe is slowly flying on the clouds of the gas giant at a distance of 3,400 kilometers, continuing to study the atmosphere, the satellites and the Northern lights of Jupiter. NASA agreed to Fund the project Juno mission until 2022 fiscal year and thereby extend the scientific research for another 41 months. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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