NASA spacecraft captures closest look at Jupiter's volcanic moon Io

NASA's Juno spacecraft has made a close approach with Jupiter's notoriously volcanic moon Io, providing the closest look at the object in decades.

1 minute & 42 seconds read time

NASA has taken to its official social channels to share images of Jupiter's moon Io captured by its JunoCam instrument aboard its Juno spacecraft..

The new images mark the closest look at Jupiter's volcanic moon Io in decades, with the space agency explaining its Juno spacecraft made an extremely close approach with the moon on December 30. NASA writes that Juno passed above the surface of Io at an altitude of just 932 miles, and due to its low height, it was able to capture a close look at hundreds of mountains scattered across its surface.

Notably, Io is believed to be extremely volcanically active, ranking first in the category for the most volcanically active body in the solar system. This means the surface of the moon is littered with many volcanoes constantly spewing emissions and lava. Reports indicate that these volcanoes aren't massive, only 2.14 - 0.62 miles in height.

NASA spacecraft captures closest look at Jupiter's volcanic moon Io 2621

Unfortunately, due to their height, these volcanoes are difficult to spot in Juno's recent images, but researchers compiling data on Io have previously located many volcanoes and can now compare recent images with older ones to learn more about how they have evolved over time.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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