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Will a huge volcano erupt on Jupiter's moon Io this month? | space



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  Part of the surface of Io, light green with light and dark spots.

Enlarge. | The Voyager 1-picture mosaic, acquired in 1979, shows a vast area of ​​volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io. Here you can see numerous volcanic calderas and lava flows. Loki Patera, an active lava lake, is the large, U-shaped black feature located approximately in the middle of the bottom of this image. Picture via NASA PhotoJournal.

Jupiter's moon Io is a world of active volcanoes, and Loki Patera is the largest of these, a large depression on the lunar surface with a diameter of 202 km. In this depression is an active lava lake, and it is believed that the local lava is directly connected to a Magmareservoir. Above, the lake is probably covered by a thin, solidified crust. Scientists looking through terrestrial telescopes have considered this area to be continuously active. They think that the crust lying over the lake occasionally gives way and causes a brightness increase. In fact, Loki's periodic outbursts are so regular that an astronomer predicted one for that month. According to astronomer Julie Rathbun of the Planetary Science Institute of Tucson, Arizona, Loki is expected to break out in mid-September 201

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She presented this work today (September 17, 2019) at the joint meeting of the European Congress of Planetary Sciences and the AAS Department of Planetary Sciences in Geneva, Switzerland. She said in a statement that Loki, if he behaves as expected, should:

… break out in September 2019, roughly at the same time as the EPSC and DPS joint meeting.

Rathbun added:

We predicted that correctly. The last outbreak would take place in May 2018. Volcanoes are so hard to predict because they are so complicated. Many factors affect volcanic eruptions, including the magma supply rate, the composition of the magma – especially the presence of bubbles in the magma, the type of rock in which the volcano is located, the fracture state of the rock, and many other factors. 19659006] We think Loki could be predictable because it's so big. Due to its size, it is likely that the basic physics dominate when it breaks out, so the minor complications that affect smaller volcanoes probably do not affect Loki so much.

In 2002, Rathbun published a publication stating that Loki's eruption plan had been approximately every 540 days in the 1990s. Currently it seems to be about every 475 days. She explained:

Loki is the largest and most powerful volcano on Io, so bright in the infrared that we can detect it with the help of telescopes on Earth.

Will Loki break out this month? This week, as Rathbun suggested? It reminded us:

… You must be careful, because Loki is named after a trickster god, and it is not known that the volcano behaves by itself. In the early 2000s, when the 540-day pattern was detected, the behavior of Loki changed and only about 2013 again showed a periodic behavior.

We will keep you up to date.

  Light gray surface with a dark U-shaped feature next to a dark linear feature.

Enlarge. | As Voyager 1 passed Io, he took this photo of the Loki volcano on the surface. The major eruption activity came from the lower left side of the dark linear feature (possibly a tear) in the middle. Below is the "lava lake", a U-shaped dark area with a diameter of 200 km.

Incidentally, volcanoes on Earth are driven by heat generated in the mantle by the radioactive decay of isotopes and crust, and also by the original heat left over from the formation of the earth.

The heat source of Io is very different. The heat of Io is due to the friction heating of the tides, caused by the constant bending of Io by the gravitational force of Jupiter and Europe, another Jupiter satellite.

  A volcano on the edge or edge of Io that ejects an umbrella-shaped cloud material into space.

A massive volcanic cloud erupts from a volcano on the surface of Jupiter's moon Io. This cloud is not from Loki, but it's still cool, right? Picture via NASA / JHU-APL / SRI.

Conclusion: A planetary scientist predicts that Loki, the largest volcano on Jupiter's moon Io, will erupt in September 2019.

Via EuroPlanet

  Deborah Byrd


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