Io, one of the numerous moons of Jupiter, stands out firstly for having over 400 active volcanoes. This trait makes the object comparable with Venus, which is also a living hell. Thanks to new radio images obtained by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), scientists can see for the first time the direct effect of volcanic activity upon the atmosphere of the Io moon.
Plumes of sulfur dioxide and sulfur monoxide were seen for the first time as rising up from the volcanoes of Io. The incredible conclusion is that active volcanoes directly produce 30-50 percent of the moon’s atmosphere.
Statia Luszcz-Cook from Columbia University (New York), declared:
When Io passes into Jupiter’s shadow, and is out of direct sunlight, it is too cold for sulfur dioxide gas, and it condenses onto Io’s surface. During that time we can only see volcanically-sourced sulfur dioxide. We can therefore see exactly how much of the atmosphere is impacted by volcanic activity,
But just like things usually go in astronomy, there’s something more to add to the new findings.
Potassium chloride (KCl) detected
KCI is the third gas coming out of the volcanoes, which is also a notable aspect. Luszcz-Cook also declared:
We see KCl in volcanic regions where we do not see SO2 or SO,
This is strong evidence that the magma reservoirs are different under different volcanoes.
The Io moon was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei and received its name after the mythological character Io, a priestess of Hera who was one of Zeus’s lovers.
Io is also known as Jupiter I, and it’s the third-largest of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. Io is the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System and it has the highest density of all of them. Jupiter’s Io moon also stands out for having the lowest amount of water of any known astronomical object from the Solar System.