Planetary archive: Io

Jupiter's moon Io, the most volcanically active place in the solar system. Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona
Jupiter’s moon Io, the most volcanically active place in the solar system. Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

This is a beautiful image of Jupiter’s moon Io, taken by the Galileo spacecraft on September 19, 1997. Io is slightly larger than Earth’s moon and is the most volcanically active place in the solar system. Sulfur dioxide and various other sulfurous materials blanket the surface, creating a colourful landscape on this “pizza moon” as it is sometime referred to. A lovely but deadly environment!

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Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which is a chronicle of planetary exploration. He also publishes The Exoplanet Report e-paper. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now also currently write for AmericaSpace and Examiner.com. He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, has been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.

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