CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS
Io Eclipse/Volcanic Eruption

Io Eclipse/Volcanic Eruption
PIA 00704

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This image was acquired while Io was in eclipse (in Jupiter's shadow) during Galileo's eighth orbit, and reveals several dynamic processes. The most intense features are red, while glows of lesser intensity are yellow or green, and very faint glows appear blue in this color-coded image. The small red or yellow spots mark the sites of high-temperature magma erupting onto the surface in lava flows or lava lakes.

This image reveals a field of bright spots near Io's sub-Jupiter point (right-hand side of image). The sub-Jupiter hemisphere always faces Jupiter just as the Moon's nearside always faces Earth. There are extended diffuse glows on the equatorial limbs or edges of the planet (right and left sides). The glow on the left is over the active volcanic plume Prometheus, but whereas Prometheus appears to be 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) high in reflected light, here the diffuse glow extends about 800 kilometers (497 miles) from Io's limb. This extended glow indicates that gas or small particles reach much greater heights than the dense inner plume. The diffuse glow on the right side reaches a height of 400 kilometers (249 miles), and includes a prominence with a plume-like shape. However, no volcanic plume has been seen at this location in reflected light. This type of observation is revealing the relationships between Io's volcanism, atmosphere and exosphere.

Taken on May 6, 1997, north is toward the top. The image was taken with the clear filter of the solid state imaging (CCD) system on NASA's Galileo spacecraft at a range of 1.8 million kilometers (1.1 million miles).

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the Galileo mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is an operating division of California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

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