New data from the NASA’s Juno spacecraft points to a new possible volcano on Jupiter moon Io. But, this is just one of many other volcanic activities there.
Juno collected this data using its Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument. Thus, pointing to a new heat source close to the south pole of Io. This gives scientists clues to a previously undiscovered volcano on the Jupiter moon Io.
The spacecraft acquired this data on Dec. 16, 2017, when Juno was about 290,000 miles (470,000 kilometers) away from the moon.
“The new Io hotspot JIRAM picked up is about 200 miles (300 kilometers) from the nearest previously mapped hotspot,” said Alessandro Mura, a Juno co-investigator from the National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome.
“We are not ruling out movement or modification of a previously discovered hot spot, but it is difficult to imagine one could travel such a distance and still be considered the same feature.”
However, the Juno team will continue to evaluate this data as well as JIRAM data that the spacecraft will collect during future (and even closer) flybys of Io, NASA said.
Previous NASA missions like Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini and New Horizons with the help of ground-based observations, have located over 150 active volcanoes on Io so far.
Juno spacecraft has entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016. Since then, the spacecraft has logged nearly 146 million miles (235 million kilometers). Juno’s 13th science pass will be on July 16.
Thumbnail image: The image taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft shows an active volcanic eruption on Jupiter’s moon Io. Credit: NASA/JPL