Lava erupting on Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is over 1000°C

Astronomers used radio telescopes to estimate the temperature of molten rock on Io, the most volcanically active world in the solar system

Space 6 October 2022

An infrared image of Io taken by the Juno spacecraft in 2017

An infrared image of Io taken by the Juno spacecraft in 2017

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/AS​I/INAF/JIRAM

Lava erupting on Jupiter’s volcanic moon, Io, is over 1000°C, according to a new estimate made using radio telescopes.

Erin Redwing at the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues analysed observations of Io’s atmosphere made using the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) – a collection of radio telescopes operated by the European Southern Observatory within Chile’s Atacama desert.

The study focused on sodium chloride and potassium chloride gases that are thought to be belching from …

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