Juno Views Io Mountain, Lava Lake from Above  

The solar-powered spacecraft captures intriguing details on the fiery Jovian moon.  

NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter has animated data from two recent flybys of Io to show its most spectacular features: a mountain and an almost glass-smooth lake of cooling lava.  

The solar-powered satellite also reported Jupiter's polar cyclones and water richness.  

At a news briefing at the European Geophysical Union General Assembly in Vienna on Wednesday, April 16, Juno principle investigator Scott Bolton reported the new discoveries.  

In December 2023 and February 2024, Juno flew within 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of Io, capturing the first close-up photographs of its northern latitudes.  

“Io is littered with volcanoes, and we caught a few in action,” said Bolton. We also got fantastic close-ups and data on Loki Patera, a 200-kilometer (127-mile) lava lake.   

These bizarre islands in a possible molten lake ringed with scorching lava are detailed.  

Our equipment' specular reflection of the lake shows parts of Io's surface are smooth like glass, like Earth's volcanic obsidian glass.  

Io's poles are cooler than middle latitudes and its surface is smoother than Jupiter's other Galilean moons, according to Juno's Microwave Radiometer (MWR) maps.  

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