Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mapping volcanic heat on Jupiter's moon Io

Date:
June 10, 2012
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
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 volcanoes indicates a complex, multi-layer source. These results come from data collected by NASA spacecraft and ground-based telescopes.

Thermal emission from erupting volcanoes on the jovian moon, Io. A logarithmic scale is used to classify volcanoes on the basis of thermal emission: the larger the spot, the larger the thermal emission.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Bear Fight Institute

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 volcanoes indicates a complex, multi-layer source. These results come from data collected by NASA spacecraft and ground-based telescopes and appear in the June issue of the journal Icarus.

A map of hot spots, classified by the amount of heat being emitted, shows the global distribution and wide range of volcanic activity on Io. Most of Io's eruptions dwarf their contemporaries on Earth.

"This is the most comprehensive study of Io's volcanic thermal emission to date," said Glenn Veeder of the Bear Fight Institute, Winthrop, Wash., who led the work of a multi-faceted team that included Ashley Davies, Torrence Johnson and Dennis Matson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Jani Radebaugh of Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, and David Williams of Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. The team examined data primarily from the NASA's Voyager and Galileo missions, but also incorporated infrared data obtained from telescopes on Earth.

"The fascinating thing about the distribution of the heat flow is that it is not in keeping with the current preferred model of tidal heating of Io at relatively shallow depths," said Davies. "Instead, the main thermal emission occurs about 40 degrees eastward of its expected positions."

"The pattern that emerges points to a complex heating process within Io," said Matson. "What we see indicates a mixture of both deep and shallow heating."

A mystery has also emerged. The team found that active volcanoes accounted for only about 60 percent of Io's heat. This component mostly emanates from flat-floored volcanic craters called paterae, a common feature on Io. But where is the "missing" 40 percent? "We are investigating the possibility that there are many smaller volcanoes that are hard, but not impossible, to detect," said Veeder. "We are now puzzling over the observed pattern of heat flow."

Understanding this will help identify the tidal heating mechanisms not only within Io, but also may apply to neighboring Europa, a high-priority target for NASA in its search for life beyond Earth.

The Galileo mission was managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. The mission was launched by the space shuttle Atlantis in 1989 to Jupiter, produced numerous discoveries and provided scientists decades worth of data to analyze. Galileo was the first spacecraft to directly measure Jupiter's atmosphere with a probe and conduct long-term observations of the Jovian system. NASA extended the mission three times to take advantage of Galileo's unique science capabilities, and the spacecraft was put on a collision course into Jupiter's atmosphere in September 2003 to eliminate any chance of impacting Europa.

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about the Galileo mission, visit: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/galileo/ .


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Glenn J. Veeder, Ashley Gerard Davies, Dennis L. Matson, Torrence V. Johnson, David A. Williams, Jani Radebaugh. Io: Volcanic thermal sources and global heat flow. Icarus, 2012; 219 (2): 701 DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2012.04.004

Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Mapping volcanic heat on Jupiter's moon Io." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120610054737.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2012, June 10). Mapping volcanic heat on Jupiter's moon Io. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120610054737.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Mapping volcanic heat on Jupiter's moon Io." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120610054737.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finally Reaches Long-Term Goal

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — After more than two years, NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover reached Mount Sharp, its long-term destination. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

SpaceX's Elon Musk Really Wants To Colonize Mars

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — Elon Musk has been talking about his goal of colonizing Mars for years now, but how much of it does he actually have figured out, and is it possible? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins