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Jupiter’s moon Io is home to some of the most active volcano in the solar system, Loki Patera, is a 125-mile-wide lava lake. Now, a new study suggests that Loki Patera is getting ready to erupt again.
“Loki, it is the world’s largest and most powerful volcano on Io, so the light is in the infrared, which we can detect using telescopes on the Ground,” Planetary Science Institute Senior scientist Julie Rathbun said in a statement.
After Loki, after the Norse god, for more than 20 years, scientists have been able to gather is that it’s a crack at a “relatively normal schedule.” In the 1990’s, it was in every 540 days, and it is now up to around 475 days, which resulted in Rathburn to believe that it would have to erupt this month.
Jupiter’s moon Io with active volcanoes. (Credit: NASA)
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Not only is the Po, one of the largest of the moons of Jupiter, but it is also one of the planet’s Galilean moons, so named because it was first discovered by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in 1610. The other Galilean moons, are Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede.
“If the problem is still the same, Loki needs to break out in September 2019 at the latest, at the same time as the EPSC-DPS meeting in Geneva,” Rathbun added.
EPSC-DPS is a joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences who is currently on-going.
Volcanic activity on the moon, which was recently spotted by NASA’s Juno spacecraft in December of last year.
It is not clear what is the cause of Loki Patera’s regular eruptions. However, it is a theory, it is believed that it results from a process that differs from the one of the causes of volcanic eruptions on the Earth, as if the top layer is solidified, and then drops into the liquid below Space.com have been reported.
In spite of the frequent eruptions, as seen from the Loki Patera, Rathbun appears to have hedged its bet, and that of another outbreak will be coming.
“They are very difficult to predict because they are so complicated,” she added. “A lot of things, the influence of volcanic eruptions, including the rate of magma supply, the composition of the magma, in particular, in the presence of air bubbles in the rock, type of rock the volcano is located in the fracture condition of the rock, and many other things.”
This picture is from Voyager 1 indicate that the volcano, Loki, on Jupiter’s moon, Io. When this picture was taken, the main eruptive activity came from the left of the dark linear feature (e.g. a fracture) in the middle of it. Below you can see the “lava”, a ” U ” – shaped dark area about 200 kilometers across. (Credit: NASA/JPL)
However, Rathbun said, is that it’s possible Loki is so predictable”, due to its massive size.
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“Because of the size, the basic physics are the most likely to dominate, as it breaks down, so that the minor complications that have an influence on the smaller ones they are not likely to affect Loki so much,” Rathbun continued. However, you have to be careful, because Loki is named after a trickster god, and the volcano is not well-known in order to act. At the beginning of the year 2000, just after the 540-day pattern has been discovered by Loki’s behaviour started to change, and do not exhibit a periodic behaviour until about 2013.”
The moons of Jupiter — including those from Europe, who would be able to contribute to the life of the intense interest of the researchers in the field.
In August, NASA confirmed-on a mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, also known as the Europa Clipper mission. Now, at the stage of completion of the final design of the spacecraft, the mission will investigate whether Europe and the sixth-largest of Jupiter’s 79, the well-known manes, “port conditions are suitable for life, and the honing of our understanding of astrobiology.”
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