What an achievement!  From Earth’s surface, they photographed volcanic changes on Io’s surface

SHARK-VIS is the name of the newest camera mounted on the Binocular Large Telescope (BLT) on Mt. Graham, Arizona. It is so advanced that it is the first instrument in history capable of seeing surface details of distant objects like Io from the Earth’s surface.

actually First notes The SHARK-VIS operation has allowed scientists to see the changes occurring on Io’s surface under the influence of 4.5 billion years of volcanic activity there. Until now, such details can only be seen in images sent to Earth from space probes flying near the Moon.

Large binocular telescope

What did the large telescope see on Io’s surface?

Despite the enormous distance that separates this volcanic ball from Earth, scientists were able to see details on its surface no less than 80 kilometers in size. Scientists point out that this accuracy can be compared to observing a coin from a distance of 160 kilometers.

Due to the gravitational influence of Jupiter, Europa, and Ganymede, Io’s interior is constantly expanding and compressing. The result is internal heating and continuous volcanic eruptions at the surface.

Read also: Amazing photos of Io! The Juno spacecraft flew directly above the surface of this volcanic ball

In images taken by LBT in January 2024, astronomers identified a deep red ring of sulfur surrounding Pele Volcano. In one part, the ring is obscured by a bright spot, which researchers believe is frozen carbon dioxide emanating from the Pilan Patera volcano next to Pele.

South of the equator you can see a red ring surrounding Pele volcano, and to its right is a bright spot of frozen carbon dioxide emitted by Pilan Patera volcano. Source: INAF/Large Telescope Observatory/Georgia State University; IRV range observations by SHARK-VIS/F. Pedicini. Processed by D. Hope, S. Jefferies, G. Li Causi

When the Juno spacecraft flew by Io in April, images from its cameras showed that the dark red ring had filled in again, so new eruption from Pele had refreshed the sulfur layer where it met frozen carbon dioxide from the second volcano.

It is worth pausing for a moment to reflect on this amazing achievement. From the surface of the Earth, we observe the changes that occur on the wonderful globe in the outer part of the solar system. This is truly incredible accuracy. Such interactions between Pele and Pele Patera had previously only been observed by the Galileo spacecraft, which orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003. Also after that, both volcanoes competed on Earth, alternately covering their surroundings with different types of volcanic material.

But now the situation may change. There is no longer any need to wait for space probes to fly near Io to observe changes occurring on its surface. A large telescope will be able to make observations of this kind more often. Thanks to this, scientists will be able to take a closer look at the activity of individual volcanoes (of which there are thousands on Io) and their impact on the ever-changing surface of this unique globe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Maximum Perseid meteor showers in 2021

The weather is unfavorable for skywatchers this year, but they will surely…

Discovery of the planet “Sapphire”. This is the first world of its kind to be found in space

Our partner’s advertising links are included in the text HAT-P-7b is a…

This spinning white dwarf is about to explode. It could revolutionize our understanding of supernovae

The answer to this question is: not necessarily. Imagine that this sun-like…

The fossil sat in the museum drawer for 70 years. The world has never seen such an ancient lizard

A surprising discovery was made at the Natural History Museum in London.…