NOTE: This article is only available to subscribers. Subscribe now to gain access to all articles, read exclusive interviews with top scientists from around the world, and browse the site ad free. The first month is free.

NASA: Io’s volcanoes are in the wrong place

Kramer Phillips | @KramerPhillips| April 05, 2013

NASA: Io’s volcanoes are in the wrong place

Io gets completely resurfaced approximately once every million years of so because of the moon’s intense volcanism.

Io’s volcanoes are in the wrong place, according to NASA and European Space Agency researchers. Jupiter’s moon Io has hundreds of volcanoes, making it the most volcanically active world in the Solar System. However, models that predict how Io’s interior is heated make the case that the location of these volcanoes is wrong.

Io orbits faster than two neighboring moons, Europa and Ganymede. In fact, Io completes two orbits every time Europa finishes one, and four orbits every time Ganymede completes one. This means that Io experiences the strongest gravitational pull from its neighboring moons in the same location, which alters Io’s orbit into an oval shape and causes the moon to flex as it circles Jupiter.

Comments
Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic. In addition, readers can send us tips, press releases, or ideas for stories: tips@sciencerecorder.com