400 Years After Galileo Spotted Them, the Moons of Jupiter Are Looking Fly

By Eliza Strickland | January 7, 2010 11:24 am
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2-ioIo, the innermost of the four moons, is a tempestuous place. It’s covered with more than 400 active volcanoes, which spew out sulfur compounds that may be responsible for its mottled, pizza-like appearance. We got our first good look at Io when the Voyager probes flew by in 1979 on their way to the solar system’s edge; one of the probes took this portrait of the fiery moon.

Image: NASA

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Feature, Photo Gallery, Space
  • Michael Ullman

    What beautiful photos…..

  • Chester Knarl

    Europa is one of the most interesting places in the solar system…

    There is a prophetic warning about Europa. Heed it and attempt no landings there.

  • AJ

    what garbage is Chester Knarl saying? I think we should make Europa our next target for probes! Its very promising….

  • Kassul

    @AJ – Chester Knarl is referencing the book 2010 – A Space Oddessy, a not obscure book(especially to astronomy/science nerds) by Arthur C Clarke.

    The quote is “ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.”

    The book is well worth a read, I’d encourage you to do so(as well as a number of other Clarke books, 2001 obviously being another.)

  • http://johntantalo.com John Tantalo

    “Its has an ice layer” should be “It has an ice layer” on page 4: http://emend.appspot.com/sites/blogs.discovermagazine.com/edits/3

    You also have a couple other typos I’ve spotted: http://emend.appspot.com/sites/blogs.discovermagazine.com/open

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/ Eliza Strickland

    Thanks for the catch, John, I fixed the typo in this gallery.

  • http://www.carolcstrickland.com cacs

    These images put our own lovely moon to shame — I used to think cratered silver was the ultimate satellite attire, but now I see how flamboyant celestial bodies can be. And imagine volcanoes erupting on Io for decades! And Callisto’s crisscrossing bands and dots of light! The wonderment of it all. And while I’m wondering, would it be too much to ask of the universe for a moon that’s not a sphere? With all the possible shapes, you’d think somewhere we’d see a trapezoid or geodesic or something different. After all, we’re talking infinity here.

  • http://www.abidemiracles.com Emily Cragg

    Too hue-saturated for these spheres to reveal their transparent nature. Tone hue sat down about 50%. And of course, these moons are already populated except for IO.

    : )

  • Vic

    Launch date to Europa is 2020 but no lander due to lack of money?! How much money is the EU wasting on Africa over the next 10 years? Take that money and let’s put a lander and drill platform down on Europa. Good Lord!

  • http://www.pacificvacuum.com The Carpet Cleaner

    Ah, Galileo. I bow to thee…

    Absolutely wicked photos, very cool.

  • http://www.carpet-cleaning-equipment.net/jondon.shtml JonDon

    our moon does look pretty ugly by comparison to some of these

    deff no place to build a vactation home

    Lol

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