Sunday, February 11, 2007

Io: The Prometheus Plume


Credit: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA
Explanation: What's happening on Jupiter's moon Io? Two sulfurous eruptions are visible on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io in this color composite image from the robotic Galileo spacecraft that orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. At the image top, over Io's limb, a bluish plume rises about 140 kilometers above the surface of a volcanic caldera known as Pillan Patera. In the image middle, near the night/day shadow line, the ring shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 75 kilometers above Io while casting a shadow below the volcanic vent. Named for the Greek god who gave mortals fire, the Prometheus plume is visible in every image ever made of the region dating back to the Voyager flybys of 1979 - presenting the possibility that this plume has been continuously active for at least 18 years. The above digitally sharpened image was originally recorded in 1997 on June 28 from a distance of about 600,000 kilometers.

10 comments:

Farmer John said...

...it almost looks like a frozen "Earth". What a great pic!

Eyes said...

It is awesome. It's so clear!

nanc said...

it looks nearly inhabitable!

The Merry Widow said...

Only if you are into mukluks and spacesuits!!!!!!!!!!!!

tmw
Neat view though! I remember the Saturn fly-by, through the rings, it was awesome!

Gayle said...

Another great Eyes pic snagged! Thanks. :)

Eyes said...

:>)

kevin said...

Hope those aren't greenhouse gases, heh.

Eyes said...

LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hang on, I know what that is!!
It's an eruption of blue string soup from a vast underground reserve.
And where there is blue string soup, there must be Clangers. Everybody knows that.
Fancy that, life on IO, and it's all hand knitted.....

Monty

Eyes said...

:>)