A NASA-funded study has found that the atmosphere of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io appears to be in constant flux due to the cooling and relative collapse caused by the planet’s daily eclipses.
The atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon, Io, is constantly fluctuating, finds new research.
As a NASA article about it states, “The new study documents atmospheric changes on Io as the giant planet casts its shadow over the moon’s surface during daily eclipses.”
Based on data collected from two separate instruments, the team found that “Io’s atmosphere begins to ‘deflate’ when the temperatures drop from -235 degrees Fahrenheit in sunlight to -270 degrees Fahrenheit during eclipse.”
The news release goes on to explain that “In full eclipse, the atmosphere effectively collapses, as most of the sulfur dioxide gas settles as frost on the moon’s surface. The atmosphere redevelops as the surface warms once the moon returns to full sunlight.”
One of the paper’s authors, John Spencer, is quoted as saying that the research “confirms that Io’s atmosphere is in a constant state of collapse and repair.”
The moon is “the most volcanically active object in the solar system.”
And while the these fluctuations have been suspected for a while, they were observed for the first time in this study thanks to one of the instrument’s ability to measure “the atmosphere using heat radiation.”
Originally posted 2017-07-26 00:04:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter