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Exploring Tidal Heating in Large Moons

14 Sep 2020, 15:47 UTC
Exploring Tidal Heating in Large Moons NASA

Io, Jupiter’s large, inner Galilean moon, is the very definition of a tortured surface, as seen in the image below, taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 1997. Discovering volcanic activity — and plenty of it — on Io was one of the early Voyager surprises, even if it didn’t surprise astrophysicist Stanton Peale (UC-Santa Barbara) and colleagues, who predicted the phenomenon in a paper published shortly before Voyager 1’s encounter. We now know that Io is home to over 400 active volcanoes, making it the most geologically active body in the Solar System.

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