The Juno spacecraft photographed Jupiter’s moon Io from 80,000 km away, and next year the structure will get even closer.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is currently orbiting Jupiter to observe and collect data on the gas giant and its companion moons. Obviously, one of the most interesting is Io, because there is volcanic activity on its surface.

The BBC according to his report to Juno She has already managed to get close to the celestial body at a distance of 80,000 km, but soon she will be able to get much closer to it. According to the plans, it will venture close to it in 2023, until finally during the closest contact it will be 1,500 km from its surface. Juno captured the image below 80,000 kilometers from the sea surface.


The researchers aren’t just trying to understand and map volcanoes and pyroclastic flows: They’re also examining the gravitational field and trying to map the internal structure of Io. What is certain: the moon owes its volcanic activity to its proximity to Jupiter. The celestial body is affected by such great tidal forces that it heats up the subsurface layers and results in volcanic activity.

The Juno spacecraft was originally sent to observe Jupiter and explore its evolution, but it can also observe the four largest moons of the planet: Callisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io. The structure flew by Ganymede in 2021 and passed by Europa earlier this year.

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