Jupiter’s Moon Io: Solar System’s Many Volcanically Active Body

Io, the 3rd largest moon of Jupiter, is one of the most volcanically active body in our planetary system. When the Voyager 1 spacecraft took the first close-ups of Io in 1979, it revealed that this moon, which is just a little bigger than Earth’s moon, was covered with active volcanoes– more than 400!

Jupiter’s four largest moons are called the Galilean moons, because they were all discovered by the renowned scientist Galileo Galilei. Two of them, Ganymede as well as Europa, put in pressures on Io’s orbit that make it take a trip in an uneven ellipse. According to NASA, Io is additionally subjected to extreme tidal pressures as a result of its widely differing ranges from the earth. These pressures create “tides” that are similar to those of Earth’s seas, but way a lot more severe– and also on strong ground, not water! In fact, unlike its fellow Galilean moons, Io appears to have no water.

While Io’s intense volcanic plumes can climb to almost 200 miles above the surface, the moon also produces a big amount of electrical energy as it punctures Jupiter’s magnetic field. This produces lightning in the planet’s upper ambience.

Galileo found Io as well as the various other three Galilean moons over 2 days in January 1610. He really did not call them after himself; that came later. He initially called them the “Medicean planets” after the rich and also effective Medici household, that supported his job. Galileo really did not even call the private moons, but only numbered them I, II, III, and IV. They really did not obtain their current names– all taken from figures in Greek mythology– up until the mid-1800s.

In Galileo’s time, people believed that the planetary system focused on Earth. His exploration noted the very first time anybody had observed a moon orbiting one more earth besides Earth, and also it assisted lead researchers to conclude that worlds in our solar system orbit the sun.

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