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Probe spies moon's volcanic plume (Jupiter's moon, Io).
BBC ^ | Thursday, March 1, 2007

Posted on 03/01/2007 1:49:02 AM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu

Io  Image: Nasa, JHUAPL, Southwest Research Institute
The plume is seen as an umbrella-shaped feature in the long exposure image to the right


Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back images of a huge volcanic eruption on Jupiter's moon Io.

A massive dust plume, estimated to be 150m (490ft) high, can be seen erupting from the Tvashtar volcano on Io.

On Wednesday, the US probe flew by Jupiter, using the planet's gravity to boost its speed, reducing the travel time to its ultimate target of Pluto.

New Horizons also took photos of the icy moons Europa and Ganymede in the run-up to its encounter with Jupiter.

Turning its cameras to the giant planet itself, the spacecraft captured an image of Jupiter's little red spot, a nascent storm south of the famous great red spot.

Volcanic fallout

New Horizons made its closest approach to Jupiter at 0543 GMT (1243 EST) on Wednesday, passing within 2.3 million km (1.4 million miles) of the planet.

Jupiter's red spot, Image: Nasa, JHUAPL, Southwest Research Institute
Red Jr is a swirling storm in Jupiter's atmosphere

The gravity "kick" will accelerate the probe's speed by 14,000kmph (9,000mph).

The probe will carry out more than 700 observations of the Jupiter system by June, in a dry run for its planned rendezvous with Pluto and its moons in 2015.

The pictures of Io provide the best glimpse yet of Tvashtar, one of the most active volcanoes on Io. The volcano can be seen in the "11 o'clock" position in the images. It is surrounded by a dark patch the size of Texas consisting of the fallout from the eruption.

The probe's observations of icy moons like Europa and Ganymede will allow scientists to map their surface features and composition.

Subsurface ocean

Europa is an attractive target; planetary scientists consider it one of the best places in the Solar System to find extraterrestrial life forms.

Europa, Image: Nasa, JHUAPL, Southwest Research Institute
Europa is a promising target in the search for extraterrestrial life

Beneath its outer shell of ice, the moon is thought to host an ocean of water warmed by heat from the interior.

The little red spot, or Red Jr, is a swirling storm that formed from three smaller features between 1998 and 2000.

Its larger counterpart, the great red spot, is Jupiter's most famous feature. It has been in existence for at least 130 years.

After an eight year cruise across, New Horizons will conduct a five-month study of Pluto and its three moons in 2015, characterising their geology, structure and composition.





TOPICS: Astronomy
KEYWORDS: callisto; europa; ganymede; ice; io; jupiter; moon; nasa; newhorizons; planet; probe; redspot; space; spaceexploration; spaceprobe; volcano; volcanoes; vulcanism; vulcanology; water

1 posted on 03/01/2007 1:49:04 AM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu
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To: KevinDavis

ping.


2 posted on 03/01/2007 1:52:02 AM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Aren't we supposed to leave Io alone???


3 posted on 03/01/2007 2:11:29 AM PST by Shimmer128 (My beloved is mine and I am his. Song of Solomon 2:16)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

New Horizons is at Jupiter already!!!! Man, that craft is booking!


4 posted on 03/01/2007 2:22:57 AM PST by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Big dog, big dog, bow-wow-wow! We'll crush crime, now, now, now!)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu; NormsRevenge; RadioAstronomer; blam; SunkenCiv

Amazing stuff out there....


5 posted on 03/01/2007 8:16:27 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
From MSNBC:

Pluto probe gets an eyeful in Jupiter flyby

6 posted on 03/01/2007 8:20:24 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: All
Direct link on info on the small Jupiter storm:

Jupiter's Small Spot Changes Hues

7 posted on 03/01/2007 8:24:59 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The DemonicRATS believe ....that the best decisions are always made after the fact.)
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To: Shimmer128

Europa.


8 posted on 03/01/2007 11:05:05 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks E.

Jupiter's Little Red Spot Growing Stronger
ScienceDaily | Saturday, October 14, 2006 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted on 10/14/2006 8:05:01 PM EDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1719531/posts


9 posted on 03/01/2007 11:06:18 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv; Shimmer128
Message to earth, transmitted by Hal:
"ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE."

10 posted on 03/01/2007 11:09:37 AM PST by COBOL2Java ("No stronger retrograde force exists in the world" - Winston Churchill on Islam)
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To: Shimmer128
If you're making a 2001 reference, that was Europa.

All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there.

11 posted on 03/01/2007 11:11:56 AM PST by Doohickey (I am not unappeasable. YOU are just too easily appeased.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
A massive dust plume, estimated to be 150m

I think they meant km. 150 meters is no big deal.

12 posted on 03/01/2007 11:13:38 AM PST by dirtboy (Duncan Hunter 08)
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To: Doohickey

2010. :')


13 posted on 03/01/2007 11:14:56 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: dirtboy; Jedi Master Pikachu
looks like a correction has been posted:
A massive dust plume, estimated to be 150 miles (240km) high, can be seen erupting from Io's Tvashtar volcano.

14 posted on 03/01/2007 11:16:28 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Shimmer128

Io,Io, so off to work I go....


15 posted on 03/01/2007 11:16:34 AM PST by NCC-1701 (PUT AN END TO ORGANIZED CRIME. ABOLISH THE IRS.)
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To: Doohickey; SunkenCiv; COBOL2Java

Europa, of course, I'd forgotten.


16 posted on 03/01/2007 11:31:50 AM PST by Shimmer128 (My beloved is mine and I am his. Song of Solomon 2:16)
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To: SunkenCiv

Ouch. You're right, of course. It's been several years since I've read them, or any Arthur C. Clarke for that matter.


17 posted on 03/01/2007 11:34:30 AM PST by Doohickey (I am not unappeasable. YOU are just too easily appeased.)
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To: MikeD

Ping! :-)


18 posted on 03/01/2007 11:40:21 AM PST by RadioAstronomer (Senior and Founding Member of Darwin Central)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan

It's supposed to be the fastest human creature made spacecraft ever.


19 posted on 03/01/2007 1:45:58 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Appreciated. (For the links in this and the preceding post).


20 posted on 03/01/2007 1:46:43 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: SunkenCiv

Is that from the 2001 Rubrick(?) guy in one of the sequel stories?


21 posted on 03/01/2007 1:47:27 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: SunkenCiv; All

Yep. The article has been changed to 150 miles, or 240 kilometers (kilometres since they're British).


22 posted on 03/01/2007 1:50:18 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Yup.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1793158/posts?page=13#13


23 posted on 03/01/2007 4:43:44 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu; RadioAstronomer

RA, thanks for the ping! I'm a bit busy right now (on our next projects, not New Horizons), so I'm still catching up on threads.

As for the speed, yes, the launch speed of New Horizons was faster than any other spacecraft. The wet mass (including fuel) was under 500 kg. However, the Voyager spacecraft have a faster final velocity due to multiple gravity assists. New Horizons is now going faster than it ever will, and is gradually slowing over time.


24 posted on 03/02/2007 7:49:53 AM PST by MikeD (We live in a world where babies are like velveteen rabbits that only become real if they are loved.)
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