Jupiter and Io

Jupiter and Io. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Goddard Space Flight Center

A beautiful “new” photo showing Jupiter and one of its moons, Io, has been making the rounds in cyberspace this week. The photo, taken by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2007 as it passed Jupiter on its way to Pluto, is a montage of two separate images¬†combined to show this view (with Io being much closer to the spacecraft). The Jupiter image is in infrared to bring out details in the turbulent atmosphere, while the Io image, taken about a day later, is in regular visible light.

The bluish area on the edge of Io is a huge plume from one of its many active volcanoes (Io is the most volcanically active known place in the solar system).

So while the photo may not actually be all that new, it is still an inspiring postcard sent from the Jovian realm…

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