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This is an image of the surface of Io, looking down on a volcano and the lava plain surrounding it.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Surface of Io

The surface of Io is completely volcanic, with lava flows of sulfur from the interior, as shown in this image. White patches in the image indicate areas of surface SO2 frost.

The heat for this volcanism stems from tidal forces due to the unique position of Io relative to Jupiter and the other moons. Io is a small moon, very close to Jupiter, and well inside the other 3 main moons. Io feels the gravitational pull first of Jupiter, then of the outside moons when they sweep by. The alternating pull of gravity has a push-me, pull-me effect on Io, which deforms the moon, and warms it just the way a coat hanger warms when you bend it first one way, then the other way.

Due to this warming, the surface of Io has many volcanoes,.

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Amalthea was discovered by E Barnard in 1872. Of the 17 moons it is the 3rd closest to Jupiter, with a standoff distance of 181,300 km. Amalthea is about the size of a county or small state, and is just...more

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA