This is an image of the volcano Loki.
Click on image for full size
Volcanism of Io
Io is actively volcanic. As shown in this picture, the surface is formed almost entirely of volcanic flows or pools of volcanic material. It was during the Voyager mission to Jupiter that the active volcanism of Io was first discovered. The activity of Io was a major surprise. Io is the only body in the solar system other than the Earth known to be actively volcanic.
The volcanism of Io provides another example of a prominent kind of volcanism found on Earth, namely the formation of geysers. The two kinds of volcanism exhibited by Io are:
- volcanoes, which form from silicate magmas similar to those of Earth
- geysers, spouting liquid SO2.
Hotspots of Io reveal where the volcanoes are. The most well known and active volcanic features of Io are:
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
When Voyager flew by Jupiter, there was little expectation that the moon, Io, would exhibit active volcanism. The exception was a prediction, by three brave scientists, that Voyager would find evidence...more
Lava is the word for magma (molten rock) which is extruded onto the surface of the Earth. Upon being released from the magma chamber and cooling, lava solidifies into rock. The term lava is used to describe...more
When Voyager flew by Io the surprise discovery was the geyser, Prometheus, in full eruption. Geysers such as Prometheus spout pools of liquid around the vent, rather than a channel of lava. Features which...more
Hotspots measured in the infrared help scientists know where the volcanoes & geysers of Io are actually located. This picture shows an infrared map of Io at the top, and the same image of Io, in visible...more
This is an image of the geyser, Prometheus. The black marking in the center of the image is the mouth of the geyser. This opening is encircled by a pool of material. ...more
In the foreground of this image is shown the geyser, Pelee. ...more