NASA’s Juno probe has been on a mission for over 7 years, and during that time, it has treated us to many marvelous sights of the planet Jupiter. Today, we have gotten one more.
NASA just released a photo of Io, one of Jupiter’s moons, and in this photo, a volcanic plume on the surface of Io can be seen. Of Jupiter’s 79 known moons, Io holds the distinction of being the most volcanically active body in the known solar system. If a volcano eruption were to ever be captured in an image, Io is the likely place it would occur.
Nevertheless, people involved in the Juno Mission were quite surprised that Juno was able to catch the spectacle as it was happening. Scott Bolton, who is the principal investigator of the Juno mission, had this to say: “We knew we were breaking new ground with a multi-spectral campaign to view Io’s polar region, but no one expected we would get so lucky as to see an active volcanic plume shooting material off the moon’s surface.”
The Juno mission is scheduled to be finished in July of 2021. Who knows what other astronomical marvels the Juno probe will capture within that time span?