Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nasa pictures reveal the breathtaking eruptions on Jupiter's volcanic moon - 24th May 2011

From a safe distance, the blue-tinted mass on the horizon of Jupiter's volcanic moon has a mesmerising beauty.

However these destructive eruptions put the 12-mile-high mushroom cloud currently emitting from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano firmly in the shade.

These incredible images of two sulfurous eruptions on Jupiter's Io show plumes rising 86 and 46 miles above the moon.

The pictures were captured by a camera on board the robotic Galileo spacecraft, which orbited Jupiter between 1995 an 2003.

In one of the images, on Io's horizon, a blue-ish plume rises on Io's horizon, pushing rock and sulfurous gases about 86 miles - or 140 kilometres - above the surface of the volcanic caldera known as Pillan Patera.

The same image, in the middle near the the shadow line, the ring-shaped Prometheus plume is seen rising about 46 miles - or 75 kilometres - above Io while casting a shadow below the volcanic vent. Read More