The Juno spacecraft NASA is on a mission to study Jupiter, but it is not the only celestial object in the range of its instruments. The Ġupiter has many moons, and Juno can & # 39; take a look at those while staying around the gas giant. In the most recent orbit & # 39; Jupiter, Juno spied something interesting on the moon Io: volcanic activity.
Juno launched in 2011 on a mission to study the atmosphere and the internal structure of & # 39; Jupiter, which began when it reaches the gas giant in 2016. Juno is currently on orbit & # 39; 53 days & # 39; Jupiter. NASA initially intended to summarize that considerably orbit, but problems with the spacecraft engines made it too One of the effects of a longer orbit is NASA get more opportunity to observe other elements of the system Jovian as Io.
Scientists know that Io is geologically active since 1979 when Voyager 1 passed since he came from the solar system. Io is slightly larger than Earth's moon, but its interior heating is driven by tidal forces from the massive gravity of Jupiter. Over the years, it has become clear is active as Io – b & # 39; more than 400 volcano, Io is considered the most geologically active object in the solar system. Therefore, it is not inconceivable that Juno explains eruption would continue to look.
During its orbit of 16 & # 39, Jupiter (the mid-point of the mission), scientists swapped instruments & # 39; Juno began to pass as Io in the shade & # 39; Jupiter. Four of the cameras flash in Juno found strong terminator on the dark side of Io (see above) indicating volcanic eruption.
Juno first came the eruption 12: 00 UTC 21 & # 39; December. The land is already in the shade, but the bright spot indicates that the volcanic cloud is long enough to reflect the sunlight. The picture above was the JunoCam in the visible range, reconstructed images of red, blue and green. Below, you & # 39; to see the eruption through the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM). The bright spot of the eruption indicates exceptionally high temperatures. While not the case & # 39; intended use JIRAM, the team was surprised how pleased dribbled to observe the plum on Io.
NASA expects to close the primary mission of the science of Juno in July 2021 when the probe complete its map of Jupiter. Juno has already helped scientists understand the atmosphere and the magnetic field of Jupiter. The second half of the mission could shed light on the zonal wind and the Earth's internal structure.