Photos of the Sun

Io (Jupiter). Solar System Satellites

Io (Jupiter). Solar System Satellites

Io is one of the four Galilean satellites of Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. They are called Galileans because they were discovered by Galileo, one of the fathers of modern science, in the year 1610. Of these four satellites it is the closest to Jupiter and is the fourth largest satellite in the Solar System, slightly larger than our Moon .

In 1979, the Voyager I spacecraft passed very close to Io and what the scientists discovered was something nobody expected: the satellite had a brutal volcanic activity. Approximately four hundred active volcanoes are constantly shaping the changing surface of Io. This activity has led to the creation of more than one hundred great mountains, several of them taller than Everest.

Io is a rather strange satellite. It barely has water, and it has a structure very similar to that of rocky planets. It is also the body with more volcanic activity than there are in the Solar System.

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Album: Solar System Photos Gallery: Solar System Satellites