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This picture shows a special color reconstruction of one of the erupting volcanoes on Io discovered by Voyager 1 during its encounter with Jupiter on the 4th and 5th of March. The picture was taken March 4 about 5:00 p.m. from a range of about half a million kilometers showing an eruption region on the horizon. This method of color analysis allows scientists to combine data from four pictures, taken in ultraviolet, blue, green and orange light.
In this picture one can see the strong change in color of the erupting plume. The region that is brighter in ultraviolet light (blue in this image) is much more extensive than the denser, bright yellow region near the center of the eruption. Scientists will use data of this type to study the amount of gas and dust in the eruption and the size of dust particles. Preliminary analysis suggests that the bright ultraviolet part of the cloud may be due to scattered light from very fine particles (the same effect which makes smoke appear bluish).
The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.