NASA’s Juno Moon Io shows lava lake on Jupiter’s moon

NASA’s Juno spacecraft reveals extraordinary details of Io’s volcanic landscape displaying a lava lake
An undated image of Jupiter’s moon Ios lava lake. – NASA/JPL
An undated image of Jupiter’s moon Io's lava lake. – NASA/JPL 

Jupiter’s moon Io; known for its intense volcanic activity, once again captured attention during NASA’s recent mission. The Juno spacecraft provided insights into a vast lava lake on the Io’s surface.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft revealed extraordinary details of Io’s volcanic landscape, displaying the lava lake known as Loki Patera.

In late 2023 and early 2024, NASA’s Juno spacecraft travelled within 930 miles of its surface capturing the animation of Loki Patera, a 127-mile-long lava lake. According to scientists, it is observed as a glass-smooth surfaced lava found on Earth and has a unique terrain consisting of rugged islands of rock surrounded by molten magma in the interior of a lava lake.

According to Live Science, during a news conference Scott Bolton, principal investigator for the Juno spacecraft mission highlighted the significance of the mission that the animation recorded by Juno’s instruments emphasises the smooth surface of Io, distinguishing it from other moons of Jupiter.

The exploration also found that Io's surface is smoother than Jupiter's other Galilean moons, including Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Despite the volcanic activity, Io's surface shows a striking contrast, with areas not covered by lava showing a yellowish tint due to deposits of sulfur and sulfur dioxide.

The spacecraft is tasked with measuring Jupiter's atmosphere's oxygen and hydrogen levels, providing valuable insight into the gas giant's composition. Moreover, Juno continues to examine the dynamic atmosphere of the Jupiter’s surface.