Juno Snaps Incredible Image of a Volcanic Eruption on Jupiter’s Moon Io

Jupiter’s moon Io is a very active world. NASA’s Juno mission to the Jupiter has revealed a lot not just about Jupiter but also about its moons. While observing polar region of Io, Junos team managed to catch a volcanic plume being released into space.

While capturing this stunning view there was a solar eclipse on December 21. At that time Io was in the shadow of Jupiter and lightly well-lighted by Europa. During that situation, Io’s most interesting attributes came to light. Jovian Moon, Io, is the most volcanically active place in the entire Solar System and the hints from these volcanos are distinctly visible in the observation.

Io being illuminated by Europa's moonlight with the volcanos and plasma brightly visible. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI

It also produces a large amount of plasma into space, at a ton per second, which makes the radiation belts around Jupiter. And in the photos, there was also this serendipitous plume.

Scott Bolton, principal researcher of the Juno mission, said in a statement:
“We knew we were breaking new ground with a multi-spectral campaign to view Io’s polar region, but no one expected we would get so lucky as to see an active volcanic plume shooting material off the moon’s surface. This is quite a New Years present showing us that Juno has the ability to clearly see plumes.”

Juno arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and the mission is expected to end until summer 2021.