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The scary "black hole" on Jupiter is just a big shadow



Jupiter, seen by Juno on September 12, 2019. The big black dot is a shadow of Jupiter's moon Io.
Image : NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Kevin M. Gill black spot on the whirling clouds of the gas giant . Looks scary, but there is a reasonable explanation: it is a shadow taken by Jupiter's extremely volcanic moon, Io. Juno has taken this stunning series of pictures. on September 12 while attending the 22nd encounter with Jupiter. The NASA spacecraft, which arrived in the Jupiter system in July 2017, is in a highly elliptical polar orbit, bringing it close to the gas giant's cloud spiers and then returning to deeper space.

Io's shadow as it appears near Jupiter's horizon.
Image : NASA / JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Bjorn Jónsson

Juno was about 8,000 kilometers long) from the surface when his JunoCam took these pictures, and the probe is now located on a trajectory she will hold over 8 million kilometers from the gas giant before swinging back to her 23rd Perijove according to to the universe today. By the end of the mission in July 2021 Juno is expected to perform around a dozen more perijoves. However, the mission could be extended to the 2020s – fingers crossed for because images like these and others are moving our world.

An incomplete photograph (hence the huge part above right) of Jupiter showing the solar eclipse. The colors have been adjusted to highlight features.
Image : NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Tanya Oleksuik

This comes as close to a total solar eclipse as we will ever experience on Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. To be fair, it's more of an annular eclipse, as Io's shadow does not cover nearly the entire surface of Jupiter. To be even fairer, we probably should not call this celestial event a solar eclipse at all – it's more like a transit, much like exoplanets move over their host stars and allow astronomers to spot them from our vantage point on Earth.

Illustration shows the size of Io (left) compared to Jupiter (right).
Figure : ThePlanets .org

Nevertheless, the shadow is quite large, all in all; Io is only slightly larger than the moon of the earth. The large black circle is due to an optical effect in which the total size of an object shadow, the penumbral increases with the distance from the light source, in this case the sun. Something similar happened on Earth during the solar eclipses – an effect that was beautifully captured from space in 2016 .

Io is the fourth largest moon in the solar system and the innermost of the four Galilean Jupiter moons. This volcanic moon is very close to Jupiter and only takes 42.5 hours to make a full orbit.

In fact, Io has not only about the size of the Earth's Moon, but also a similar distance to Jupiter – a proximity that contributes to its hyperactive geology . The enormous gravitational influence of the gas giant creates a tidal warming effect on the moon. Io is subsequently the most volcanic object in the solar system, with hundreds of volcanoes producing flags up to 500 kilometers above its surface.

As one last funny fact is Ios largest volcano, Loki, It is predicted that will break out every moment therefore there may be more news about this gnarled, molten one Moon coming in the next few days.


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