Volcanism on Io
- Io, the innermost large moon of
Jupiter, is about the same size and density as Earth's Moon. Io is the
most volcanically active body known in the Solar System. Eruptions are
so common and so large that the entire surface can be buried under 100
meters of material every 1 million years (it takes submarine volcanoes
about 80 million years to resurface about two-thirds of the Earth).
Impact craters, which are common on many planets and moons, are absent
on Io because of the frequent volcanic eruptions bury them.
- These enhanced (false) color views of
Io highlight details of the surface. Some areas on Io are truly red
and are closely associated with very recent explosive eruptions and
volcanic plumes. The most prominent red oval surrounds the volcano Pele
(far right). Galileo images courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.