Major volcanic eruption seen on Jupiter's moon Io

Aug 26, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
Voyager 1 acquired this image of Io on March 4, 1979. An enormous volcanic explosion can be seen silhouetted against dark space over Io’s bright limb. Credit: NASA/JPL

Recent observations of Jupiter's moon Io has revealed a massive volcanic eruption taking place 628,300,000 km (390,400,000 miles) from Earth. Io, the innermost of the four largest moons around Jupiter, is the most volcanically active object in the Solar System with about 240 active regions. But this new one definitely caught the eye of Dr. Imke de Pater, Professor of Astronomy and of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California in Berkeley. She was using the Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii on August 15, 2013 when it immediately became apparent something big was happening at Io.

"When you are right at the telescope and see the data, this is something you can see immediately, especially with a big eruption like that," de Pater told Universe Today via phone.

de Pater said this eruption is one of the top 10 most powerful eruptions that have been seen on this moon. "It is a very energetic eruption that covers over a 30 square kilometer area," she said. "For Earth, that is big, and for Io it is very big too. It really is one of the biggest eruptions we have seen."

She added the new volcano appears to have a large . "We saw a big eruption in 2001, which was in the Surt region, which is well known as the biggest one anyone has ever seen," she said. "For this one, the total energy is less but per square meter, it is bigger than the one in 2001, so it is very powerful."

While Io's eruptions can't be seen directly from Earth, on the Keck telescope (looking between 1 and 5 microns) have been able to ascertain there are likely fountains of lava gushing from fissures in the Rarog Patera region of Io, aptly named for a Czech fire deity.

While many regions of Io are volcanically active, de Pater said she's not been able to find any other previous activity that has been reported in the Rarog Patera area, which the team finds very interesting.

Ashley Davies of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and a member of the observing team told Universe Today that Rarog Patera was identified as a small, relatively innocuous hot spot previously in Galileo PPR data and possibly from Earth, but at a level way, way below what was seen on August 15, and reported in New Scientist.

de Pater and other astronomers will be taking more data soon with Keck and perhaps more telescopes to try and find out more about this massive eruption.

"We never know about eruptions – they can last hours, days months or years, so we have no idea how long it will stay active," she said, "but we are very excited about it."

No data or imagery has been released on the new yet since the team is still making their observations and will be writing a paper on this topic.

Scientists think a gravitational tug-of-war with Jupiter is one cause of Io's intense vulcanism.

Explore further: Two astronauts will expand envelope with one-year spaceflight

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mapping volcanic heat on Io

Jun 11, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A new study finds that the pattern of heat coming from volcanoes on Io's surface disposes of the generally-accepted model of internal heating.  The heat pouring out of Io's hundreds of erupting ...

Space image: Jupiter-Io montage

Nov 16, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- This montage of New Horizons images shows Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io, and were taken during the spacecraft's Jupiter flyby in early 2007.

Recommended for you

Preparing for an asteroid strike

3 hours ago

ESA and national disaster response offices recently rehearsed how to react if a threatening space rock is ever discovered to be on a collision course with Earth.

User comments : 43

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (11) Aug 26, 2013
Scientists think a gravitational tug-of-war with Jupiter is one cause of Io's intense vulcanism.

One cause? What other process has been proposed? Being that "tidal kneading" has already been falsified, I'm curious what is the cause of the "intense vulcanism" on Io.
http://phys.org/n...-io.html
rug
2.1 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2013
Just as a random thought. No idea if it's right or not. Jupiter puts out a lot of EM radiation if IO has an iron core maybe it's getting heated up from that. Kinda like when you forget a spoon in the microwave. That plus the title forces that are definitely there might add up to the oddities we see.

@cantdrive - Yes, I know that almost sounds like one of your theories.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2013
Just as a random thought. No idea if it's right or not. Jupiter puts out a lot of EM radiation if IO has an iron core maybe it's getting heated up from that. Kinda like when you forget a spoon in the microwave. That plus the title forces that are definitely there might add up to the oddities we see.

@cantdrive - Yes, I know that almost sounds like one of your theories.
Or maybe scientists have already figured this out.
http://en.wikiped...gy_of_Io
rug
2.8 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2013
Like I said, just a thought. I had read this one before posting.
http://en.wikiped..._heating
Still, it's a reasonable hypothesis.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (9) Aug 26, 2013
Then of course, there are the moving "volcanos";
http://www.scienc...abstract

And the unexpectedly hot "volcanos";
http://science1.n...oct99_1/

Then there's the two trillion watts;
http://www.planet...rus.html

And the plumes that exhibit distinctive plasma characteristics;
http://adsabs.har...44..451P

There's more, but a picture is emerging....

Gmr
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 26, 2013

There's more, but a picture is emerging....

Well, whatever you're developing, it isn't a picture of the internal workings of Io.

We have evidence of tidal heating in other bodies in the solar system around gas giants. We know that the inner and outer part of an orbiting body end up pulled at slightly different rates, distorting the body in question, and if it rotates in addition to this, and isn't in a perfectly circular orbit, you get tidal heating.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (11) Aug 27, 2013
The first post describes how that model has been falsified.
The plumes of Io reflect the distinctive shape of the dense plasma focus;http://lawrencevi...temid=80
The plasma focus harbors a plasma kink instability which produces fusion and explains the anomalous chemical makeup of the dust.
The other example of tidal kneading is Enceladus, but once again the obvious plasma discharge is overlooked;http://photojourn...PIA07759
http://photojourn...PIA07798
Obvious plasma torch appearance;http://en.wikiped...ling.JPG
Then there's the unexpected heat;http://www.jpl.na...2011-067
http://commons.wi...0361.jpg
And similar to Io, there is a large electric current;
http://www.jpl.na...2011-120

Chaotic polar regions are to be expected, and they're quite common.
rug
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 27, 2013
And there he goes, right off the deep end.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (14) Aug 27, 2013
When a model has been falsified it's time to move on, the tidal heating model failed. As the paper pointed out, the "volcanos" are 40* off kilter shall we invent some epicycles to save the theory or shall we move on. The shallow end of the pool is where all the short bus kids play, I will always tread in the deep end!
Gmr
5 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2013
Shoom! Like a firework, every time. So easy to set off, too. But not as fun.
Gmr
5 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2013
The shallow end of the pool is where all the short bus kids play, I will always tread in the deep end!


As the parent of a disabled child, I can say that this portion of your post is beyond offensive. I'm accordingly going to attempt to act within the means available, besides directly registering my personal offense.
rug
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2013
When a model has been falsified it's time to move on.

The plasma model has been falsified. Yet you don't move on. Take your own advice.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (11) Aug 27, 2013
When a model has been falsified it's time to move on.

The plasma model has been falsified. Yet you don't move on. Take your own advice.

Could you point to the paper, I have yet to see it.
rug
4 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2013
You can argue with a real psychics guy. Cause I'm not even gonna bother.

Professor of Physics at Quest University Canada -http://scientopia...r/rknop/
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (11) Aug 27, 2013
You can argue with a real psychics guy. Cause I'm not even gonna bother.

Professor of Physics at Quest University Canada -http://scientopia...r/rknop/

He follows the same M.O. you do to refute, grand exclamations with zero basis.
Where's that paper?

"When I entered the field of space physics in 1956, I recall that I fell in with the crowd believing, for example, that electric fields could not exist in the highly conducting plasma of space. It was three years later that I was shamed by S. Chandrasekhar into investigating Alfvén's work objectively. My degree of shock and surprise in finding Alfvén right and his critics wrong can hardly be described. I learned that a cosmic ray acceleration mechanism basically identical to the famous mechanism suggested by Fermi in 1949 had [previously] been put forth by Alfvén." Alex Dessler

It's been a foolish notion to disregard Alfven's plasma concepts, and it continues to be...
Gmr
5 / 5 (9) Aug 27, 2013
cantdrive85,

Get this: nobody has to disprove your notions.

You have to prove them.

Get to work. It is more than obvious you have the free time.
rug
4 / 5 (8) Aug 27, 2013
Like I said, I'm not even gonna bother, if you want someone to try and refute your beliefs do it with someone that is qualified and not a bunch of laymen that are just trying to read real science news.

That's right, you won't. Because you don't want to be proven wrong. You just want to preach to everybody that you are right and they are wrong. It's called a god complex. You might want to get that looked at.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (10) Aug 27, 2013
cantdrive85,

Get this: nobody has to disprove your notions.

You have to prove them.

Get to work. It is more than obvious you have the free time.

And so too does the "tidal heating" model, unfortunately it has been falsified by application to the observation. And contrary to that, the plasma model explains the phenomena excellently.
VendicarE
3 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2013
"Being that "tidal kneading" has already been falsified" - Can't Drive Too Stupid

Falsified by whom? Faux News?

"the plasma model explains the phenomna excellently" - Can't Drive Too Stupid

You must be referring to the plasma between your ears because there is no hope of the virtually non-existent plasma around IO having carrying sufficient energy to cause any significant heating of the moon.

Do you intend to remain an idiot for the rest of your life?
VendicarE
3 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2013
"the "volcanos" are 40* off kilter" - Can't Drive Too Stupid

Because you say so.

"The volcanos are alien in origin because they smell like cow farts."

A statement that carries the same weight.
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2013
"The plumes of Io reflect the distinctive shape of the dense plasma " - Can't drive too stupid

Then parachutes, satellite dishes, umbrellas, and holes in the ground reflect the distinctive shape of a dense plasma.

Looks like the magnetic shields erected by the martians in the Original War of The worlds Movie, to me.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zhwRJTIww38/TfHYFN7OEeI/AAAAAAAAaog/pWhUlkgV9Fc/s1600/The-War-Of-The-Worlds-16.jpg
Gmr
5 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2013

And so too does the "tidal heating" model, unfortunately it has been falsified by application to the observation. And contrary to that, the plasma model explains the phenomena excellently.


You don't win by default. You can't tear down another model as "proof."

Get to work. Empiricism demands it.
rug
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2013
@cantdrive85 - You want to convince me your theories are correct? OK, I'll tell you how. First the don'ts
Don't preach.

Now for the do's
Convince the following people. Some of them you may have heard of. These are some of the most sceptical people I know of.
Phil Plait
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Bill Nye
Michio Kaku
Lawrence Krauss

You can find all of them on Google with no problems.
Q-Star
5 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2013
@cantdrive85 - You want to convince me your theories are correct? OK, I'll tell you how. First the don'ts
Don't preach.

Now for the do's
Convince the following people. Some of them you may have heard of. These are some of the most sceptical people I know of.
Phil Plait
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Bill Nye
Michio Kaku
Lawrence Krauss

You can find all of them on Google with no problems.


Excellent selection,,, I see where ya acquired your ability to weigh the evidence from.
rug
3 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2013
If it wasn't for them I would understand very little about the cosmos. Electronics on the other hand most of the people I respect in that field are basically unknowns. At least the ones that are still alive that is lol
Q-Star
5 / 5 (4) Aug 27, 2013
If it wasn't for them I would understand very little about the cosmos. Electronics on the other hand most of the people I respect in that field are basically unknowns. At least the ones that are still alive that is lol


The remarkable thing about that list, everyone one them is respected in the so-called "mainstream" physic community, and everyone on that list is living proof that unconventional ideas and unconventional approaches to looking for something are NOT hidden, discouraged, suppressed, or met only with scorn and derision by the "Central Ruling Council of Mainstream Physics".
rug
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 27, 2013
That's true,
Phil - does Bad Astronomy. Takes a look at the odd ball theories out there and debunks them or praises them for a great idea. Granted that happens rarely but still.
Neil - Demoted Pluto...need I say more? lol
Bill - Takes complex information and makes it understandable to everyone. Plus use to work at the same place I use to. He's legend continued even when I got there.
Michio Kaku - String theory...nothing else needed.
Lawrence Krauss - One of the first dark energy theoriest

None of them stray away from new ideas. The face them head on. Take the data for what it is and go from there.
rug
1 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2013
I see the bad driver around here hasn't replied. Maybe he took my advice. lol Not likely.
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 28, 2013
I've been considering a reply, but holding my tongue. Something along the lines of it's nice of you to have identified who does your thinking for you. But that type of thing isn't unusual, you know where a person relies on someone smarter than them (an authority) to take them by the hand and show them the way. Alfven had an experience such as that with Fermi;

"His work (MHD-1942) was not recognized as both correct and significant until six years later, when he gave several lectures on hydrodynamic waves during his first visit to the United States. An oversimplified statement of what occurred has been provided by University of Arizona professor Alex Dessler, former editor of the prestigious journal, Geophysical Research Letters. "During Alfvén's visit he gave a lecture at the University of Chicago, which was attended by [Enrico] Fermi. As Alfvén described his work, Fermi nodded his head and said, 'Of course.' The next day the entire world of physics said. 'Oh. of course."'

Of course.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (8) Aug 28, 2013
Forgot to cite quote, from an Alfven biography.
Anthony L. Peratt, 'Dean of the Plasma Dissidents', The World & I, May 1988, pp. 190-197.
Gmr
5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2013
And... we're back.
We continue our evening of blather with the bog standard quote-out-of-context lauding Hannes Alfven...and he's lining it up... there's the pitch across the field...

Oooh, and it's off the line and into foul territory, falling off into general insults about intelligence, lauding his own getting a finger wag from the umpire...
rug
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 28, 2013
Something along the lines of it's nice of you to have identified who does your thinking for you.

While it's true I do consider them all athorities in their respective fields. Since they do have way more advanced knowlage, education, and experiance then I do. I don't just tak their word for it, if the theory doesn't make sense I have a tendecy to look into it further. Since your pet theory of the electric universe has already proven to me to be junk I wouldn't take their word for it. It just might inspire me to look further into it though.

I think I should point out that Bill has the same education I do. However, he does have a lot more expirance in this subject then me. I have pretty much stuck to the area I got my degree in.

I think it's worth pointing out that you are letting Alfven do your thinking for you. Of course you don't see it that way.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2013
There are a few more, such as Birkeland, Langmuir, Hoyle, and Arp, Peratt, Lerner, Verschuur, Thornhill, Scott, Velikovsky, among others. But that's what we do, we look at the accumulated knowledge and base our opinions off of that. Once again, you insist the theoreticians and their thought experiments and mathematical constructs are legitimate science, I could not disagree more. I prefer empirical and experimental approach, such as that taken by those I listed above.

You undoubtedly formed your opinion about the EU from Phil Plait's ignorant understanding, ignorance begets ignorance.
Gmr
5 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2013
Oh. Velikovsky. Wandering Venus.

You know, H.G. Wells did a short story once that included a scientific approach to what would happen if you stopped the rotation of the earth. It wasn't good. We'd know if it happened. Because we wouldn't be here anymore. So, really, I guess we wouldn't know.

Their carnival atmosphere survives as long as you don't try and wedge reality in there somewhere. Then it tends to corrode at the edges until it's a rusty pile of half-notions.
rug
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2013
Infact I didn't even look at Phil's site for it until after I went through a few of the links you gave and realized they are nothing more then a GR bashing sites.

I would say that Phil has a pretty good grasp of the theory and the people behind it. Since he does go though and debunk it section by section. Kinda have to have a good understanding to be able to do that in the first place.

Real theories do not have to criticize other theories to be right. The evidence speaks for itself. The only reason a site that is describing a theory would bash another theory is to try convince people it's correct when they know it's not.

Well, I know better then to fall for that kind of mental assault. That's how religions try to prove they are right.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2013
Pointing out ignorance of others is not bashing, although they do bash such ridiculous notions as DM, DE, and black holes. Who doesn't bash on some crank BS though?
Gmr
5 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2013
Pointing out ignorance of others is not bashing, although they do bash such ridiculous notions as DM, DE, and black holes. Who doesn't bash on some crank BS though?


That criticism doesn't earn points towards legitimacy for another theory. It's not box tops.

That is the point many have labored in Sisyphean vain to get across.

No credit for saying another student's paper is crap. It doesn't substitute for your own homework.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2013
Oh. Velikovsky. Wandering Venus.

All he did was record what the evidence revealed, but a chorus of "gravity only" theorists decided it necessary to bash him, most without reading his books.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2013
If you have an alternative explanation for some phenomena it is sometimes useful to point out the currently "accepted" hypothesis to compare and contrast the approaches. This is what they do. They also occasionally return the contempt offered them from questionable individuals such as Plait, Tim Thompson, Tom Bridgman, among other pseudoskeptics.
Gmr
5 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2013
If you have an alternative explanation for some phenomena it is sometimes useful to point out the currently "accepted" hypothesis to compare and contrast the approaches. This is what they do. They also occasionally return the contempt offered them from questionable individuals such as Plait, Tim Thompson, Tom Bridgman, among other pseudoskeptics.


Which is where "they" (you) are dead wrong. If they (you) addressed the criticisms by either acknowledgement and modifying the theory, or some actual quantifiable test (work) it would not be that way. Instead, defensiveness and attempting to attack other theories are the norm, and this is what a child does when told they did something wrong.

Be a grown-up. Do the work. Acknowledge criticism without rage-quitting and trying to earn box tops.

Realize that the high bar of besting current theory is not simple, not trivial, not accepted overnight, and not accomplished by trying to take down somebody else.
rug
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2013
Pointing out ignorance of others is not bashing, although they do bash such ridiculous notions as DM, DE, and black holes. Who doesn't bash on some crank BS though?


Here is some information that I'm sure you have read as you have posted a lot of of it here. You have linked to this site many times so it would seem you see this as an authority on the subject or at least a reliable place to get information on the topic.

http://www.plasma...kep.html

However, if you pay attention (which you obviously have not done) they are trying to tell you how to argue. Giving you quote and other "evidence" to use against other theories. When one, and most likely more, of the places you get you information from has to tell you how to speak, how to argue, how to debate, and even how to think it's religion and not science.
Q-Star
5 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2013
Pointing out ignorance of others is not bashing, although they do bash such ridiculous notions as DM, DE, and black holes. Who doesn't bash on some crank BS though?


Here is some information that I'm sure you have read as you have posted a lot of of it here. You have linked to this site many times so it would seem you see this as an authority on the subject or at least a reliable place to get information on the topic.

http://www.plasma...kep.html

However, if you pay attention (which you obviously have not done) they are trying to tell you how to argue. Giving you quote and other "evidence" to use against other theories. When one, and most likely more, of the places you get you information from has to tell you how to speak, how to argue, how to debate, and even how to think it's religion and not science.


Aaah yes,,, good find. I had seen that a long time ago and forgot about it. "The Plasma Guide to Trolling"..

Thanks for posting it, repeat as needed.
barakn
5 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2013
Then of course, there are the moving "volcanos";
http://www.scienc...abstract -cantdrive85

Already discussed here, http://phys.org/n...ric.html , where you failed to produce any evidence that an Io volcano can't move.
And the unexpectedly hot "volcanos";
http://science1.n...oct99_1/

Your understanding of Io lava temperature was already adequately discussed here:
http://phys.org/n...rth.html . To summarize, you were wrong. And when the hell are you going to learn to spell "volcanoes?"

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.