NASA probe finds indication of another possible volcano on Jupiter's moon Io

Io Jupiter moon

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 made use of the Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) and discovered a new heat source close to the south pole of Io, and experts believe that it could be one extra volcano that was never documented before.

"The new Io hotspot JIRAM picked up is about 200 miles (300 kilometres) from the nearest previously mapped hotspot. 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," said Alessandro Mura, a Juno co-investigator from the National Institute for Astrophysics, Rome, reports.

NASA has previously revealed that Io is one of the most volcanically active cosmic bodies in the solar system. The space agency has mapped more than 150 active volcanoes on the surface of Io, and many of them are continuously erupting lava fountains up to 250 miles high. Scientists at NASA believe that there could be more than 250 volcanoes which are waiting to be discovered in the Jovian moon.

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. NASA, on June 13, 2018, uncovered a new photo of Io, and indicated the position of the newly discovered hotspot.

NASA, on their website, revealed that the Juno team will continue evaluating the data collected on the December 16 flyby.

The Juno mission was launched on August 05, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. As NASA has now decided to extend the lifespan of Juno mission until July 2021 more close flybys can be expected in the coming months.

This article was first published on July 15, 2018
Related topics : Nasa Space