CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Pele Plume Deposit on Io
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Pele Plume Deposit on Io
PIA 01112

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The varied effects of Ionian volcanism can be seen in this false color infrared composite image of Io's trailing hemisphere. Low resolution color data from Galileo's first orbit (June, 1996) have been combined with a higher resolution clear filter picture taken on the third orbit (November, 1996) of the spacecraft around Jupiter.

A diffuse ring of bright red material encircles Pele, the site of an ongoing, high velocity volcanic eruption. Pele's plume is nearly invisible, except in back-lit photographs, but its deposits indicate energetic ejection of sulfurous materials out to distances more than 600 kilometers from the central vent. Another bright red deposit lies adjacent to Marduk, also a currently active ediface. High temperature hot spots have been detected at both these locations, due to the eruption of molten material in lava flows or lava lakes. Bright red deposits on Io darken and disappear within years or decades of deposition, so the presence of bright red materials marks the sites of recent volcanism.

This composite was created from data obtained by the Solid State Imaging (CCD) system aboard NASA's Galileo spacecraft. The region imaged is centered on 15 degrees South, 224 degrees West, and is almost 2400 kilometers across. The finest details that can be discerned in this picture are about 3 kilometers across. North is towards the top of the picture and the sun illuminates the surface from the west.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL Background information and educational context for the images can be found at URL

Image Credit: NASA/JPL