Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Jupiter’s fifth moon

Jupiter’s fifth moon, Io, is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Plumes of sulfur spew upward as high as 190 miles (300 kilometers). The surface of Io is splotched with lava lakes and floodplains of liquid rock.

The interior of Io is composed of an iron or iron sulfide core and a brown silicate outer layer, giving the planet a splotchy orange, yellow, black, red, and white appearance.

Based on data from scientific computer models, Io formed in a region around Jupiter where water ice was plentiful. Io’s heat, combined with the possibility that there was water on Io shortly after it was formed, could have made life possible, although Jupiter’s radiation would have removed the water from the surface.

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