Tag Archives: Jupiter

On Volcano Moon Io, it Snows Sulfur Every Day

The small Jupiter moon’s atmosphere undergoes a dramatic transformation when it passes into the gas giant’s shadow.
Jupiter’s moon Io is not only interesting in that it’s the most volcanic place in the solar system, it also has a seriously weird atmosphere that collapses and re-inflates as it passes into Jupiter’s shadow every single day.

As Io orbits Jupiter, the extreme Jovian tides warp the moon so much that huge quantities of energy are generated, causing molten rock from the moon’s interior to spew onto the surface, driving perpetual volcanic activity. Continue reading On Volcano Moon Io, it Snows Sulfur Every Day

Mysterious ‘Dark Hydrogen’ May Lurk Within Giant Planets

Exotic “dark hydrogen” lurks within giant planets such as Saturn and Jupiter, a new study suggests.

This strange form of hydrogen likely lies between the gaseous hydrogen in the clouds of gas giants such as Saturn and Jupiter and the liquid-metal hydrogen found in these planets’ cores, according to the study. Continue reading Mysterious ‘Dark Hydrogen’ May Lurk Within Giant Planets

Up Close and Personal with Jupiter: A History of 9 Space Probes

On July 4, 2016, the Juno probe is scheduled to reach Jupiter, and begin a campaign to get closer to the Jovian giant than any other spacecraft in history.

Including Juno, there have been nine space probes that have studied Jupiter up close. The first was Pioneer 10, which sailed past the striped giant in 1973. Here’s a rundown of those nine missions, and what they have accomplished.  Continue reading Up Close and Personal with Jupiter: A History of 9 Space Probes

How to Form Io’s Mountains? Just Squeeze!

Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io is full of mysteries, including how its mountains were formed. They have puzzled scientists for decades because they look nothing like mountains on Earth.

At home, we see mountains grow in ranges that can stretch across thousands of miles. But on Io, the more than 100 cataloged mountains mostly grow in isolation. What mysterious tectonic forces are at play here? Continue reading How to Form Io’s Mountains? Just Squeeze!

Europa’s Deforming Ice Is a Surprising Heat Generator

As excitement builds for NASA’s Juno mission that will enter Jupiter orbit this summer, and future missions that will investigate ice moon Europa’s life-supporting potential, new research into the strange qualities of the moon’s cracked crust could reveal some fascinating science about Europa’s sub-surface ocean. Continue reading Europa’s Deforming Ice Is a Surprising Heat Generator