Daily Telescope: A stunning new image of Io reveals a volcanic plume


Behold: Io

Björn Jónsson

Welcome to the Daily Telescope. There is a little too much darkness in this world and not enough light, a little too much pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let other publications offer you a daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’re going to take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe that is filled with stars and wonder.

Good morning. It’s February 6, and today’s image reveals the Jovian moon Io in a revelatory new light.

Over the weekend the operators of NASA’s Juno spacecraft released a new batch of images showcasing a February 3 flyby of Io, the volcanically active moon orbiting Jupiter. Io, if you didn’t know, is the most volcanically active world known to humans.

As part of its mission to closely study Jupiter, Juno has also been making periodic flybys of some of the gas giant’s more intriguing moons. NASA then invites members of the public to process the raw images to tease out details.

Björn Jónsson has done just that for the most recent flyby of Io, producing the amazing image in this post. Of his work, Jónsson says, “The small, bright features are specular reflections from features that normally appear dark (volcanic glass?). A plume is visible at lower right, it’s been brightened rel to other parts of the image & is heavily processed. North is up.”

The plume is magical.

Source: Björn Jónsson

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