NASA spacecraft to visit solar system's most volcanic world

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NASA spacecraft will visit /></p><p>The Juno spacecraft begins a series of close flybys of one of the most famous satellites of Jupiter.</p><p> Related video</p><p>The Juno spacecraft begins the first of 9 close flybys of Jupiter's moon Io, which is the most volcanic world in the solar system, writes CNN.</p><p><strong>Focus.Technology has its own</strong> <strong>Telegram channel</strong><strong>. Subscribe to keep up to date with the latest and most exciting news from the world of science!</strong></p><p>During two approaches to Io, the device will be at a very close distance from the surface of the satellite – only 1500 km. During flybys of Io, Juno will take detailed images of Jupiter's moon's surface to learn more about the network of volcanoes and how their eruptions interact with the gas giant. The fact is that this satellite is constantly attracted by the strong gravity of Jupiter.</p><p>Back in July of this year, Juno took an infrared image of Io from a distance of 80,000 kilometers. The brightest patches in this image correspond to the hottest temperatures on Io, home to hundreds of volcanoes, some of which can spew lava fountains tens of kilometers high.</p><p><img decoding=

NASA spacecraft to visit solar system's most volcanic world

According to Scott Bolton from the Juno team, with each new flyby of Io, scientists will be able to get even more information about this unusual world.

“The instruments of this spacecraft are designed to observe Jupiter, but they also do a good job with observations of Io,” says Bolton.

One of Juno's important achievements in recent months was that the unit was able to take a new image of Jupiter's northernmost cyclone in late September. The atmosphere of this planet is dominated by hundreds of cyclones, many of which are concentrated at the poles.

NASA spacecraft will visit the most volcanic world in the solar system

NASA spacecraft to visit solar system's most volcanic world

The Juno spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016 to learn more about the giant planet, but part of its expanded mission, which began in 2021, is to study the gas giant's satellites. The device will have to do its scientific work until the end of 2025.

Juno flew past Jupiter's moon Ganymede in 2021 and over Europa earlier this year. The spacecraft used its instruments to peer under the icy shells of both moons to learn more about their composition. It is believed that there is a salty ocean in the bowels of Europe, which goes to a depth of 64 to 160 km under an ice shell with a thickness of 16 to 24 km.

NASA spacecraft will visit the most volcanic world in the solar system

NASA spacecraft will visit the most volcanic world in the solar system

All the data that Juno collects will be used to prepare the flights of two spacecraft to Jupiter and its satellites.

The European Space Agency JUICE device should to fly into space in April 2023 and within three years after arrival will study Jupiter and its three icy moons – Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. All three moons are believed to have oceans below the surface, and scientists want to find out if Ganymede's ocean is potentially habitable.

And NASA's Europa Clipper will be launched into space in 2024 to make a post-arrival to the goal of 50 overflights of Europe. Scientists want to know if there really is an internal ocean there and if this satellite can support life.

As Focus already wrote, some scientists suggest that there is still an underground ocean on Io, but it does not consist of water at all, but of magma.