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Temperature Map Of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io Presents A Puzzle

Date:
June 29, 2001
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Earth's tropics are hotter than the polar regions for a good reason, so scientists are puzzled that the same pattern doesn't show on Jupiter's moon Io.

Earth's tropics are hotter than the polar regions for a good reason, so scientists are puzzled that the same pattern doesn't show on Jupiter's moon Io.

A new map of Io's nighttime surface temperatures comes from NASA's Galileo spacecraft. Aside from hot spots at volcanic sites, night temperatures on Io appear to be about the same near the equator as near the poles even though, as on Earth, the equator gets more direct sunshine to heat the surface.

The Io temperature map is available online at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/io , and a new, enhanced-color Galileo image of Europa's icy surface is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/europa. The Europa image proved useful in a study of the age of that moon's surface by Dr. Cynthia Phillips of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif. Captions are posted with the images.

Some 250 scientists meet June 24-30 in Boulder, Colo., to discuss Io, Europa and other members of the Jupiter system. Dr. John Spencer, of the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Ariz., will describe some possible explanations for Io’s odd heat balance. For example, the poles may have more volcanic heating than the lower latitudes, or they may be surfaced with materials that cool off slower at night.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages Galileo for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. For more about Galileo, visit http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov. Information about the Jupiter conference is at http://lasp.colorado.edu/jupiter. Lowell Observatory's home page is at http://www.lowell.edu.


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The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Temperature Map Of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io Presents A Puzzle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010629064939.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2001, June 29). Temperature Map Of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io Presents A Puzzle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010629064939.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Temperature Map Of Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io Presents A Puzzle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010629064939.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

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