NASA Captures Beautiful Close-up Images of Jupiter’s Moon Io

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A view of Jupiter's moon Io captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft on December 30, 2023. NASA / SWRI / MSSS / Jason Perry under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 DEED

The record of taking closeby pictures of the moon Io by NASA in the last 20 years has been broken again by the same outfit’s Juno spacecraft that captured Jupiter’s moon Io on Saturday, December 30, 2023, during a flyby.

Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator explained that the flyby made at  Jupiter is a lead or a study on how volcanic eruptions occur on Io.

“By combining data from this flyby with our previous observations, the Juno science team is studying how Io’s volcanoes vary,” Scott Bolton said in a statement.

He also added, “We are looking for how often they erupt, how bright and hot they are, how the shape of the lava flow changes, and how Io’s activity is connected to the flow of charged particles in Jupiter’s magnetosphere.”

The NASA spacecraft’s JunoCam instrument captured about six pictures of Jupiter’s moon Io but officials believe there is more data on the surroundings on the JunoCam.

A post made by NASA on X about the achievement read “The JunoCam instrument aboard our #JunoMission acquired six images of Jupiter’s moon Io during its close encounter today. This black-and-white view was taken at an altitude of about 1,500 miles (2,500 kilometers). More images will be available soon at missionjuno.swri.edu”

The picture taken by the JunoCam shows a colour view of Jupiter’s moon Io.

Juno will, however, embark on another flyby of Jupiter on February 3 according to the statement by NASA.

“With our pair of close flybys in December and February, Juno will investigate the source of Io’s massive volcanic activity, whether a magma ocean exists underneath its crust, and the importance of tidal forces from Jupiter, which are relentlessly squeezing this tortured moon,” Bolton says in NASA’s statement.

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