Another photo shows Io’s volcano Tvashtar erupting at the 1 o’clock position. The plume is about 330 km (200 miles) high and shows an asymmetrical and complicated wispy texture with incandenscent lava shown as the bright point of light. Another plume, likely from the volcano Masubi, is illuminated by Jupiter at the 5 o’clock position. A third and much fainter plume, barely visible at the 2 o’clock position, could be the first plume seen from the volcano Zal Patera.
New Horizons and Io continue to astonish us with these unprecedented views of the solar system’s most geologically active body.
At a distance of 2.5 million km (1.5 million miles) from Io, New Horizons takes a photo of three volcanic eruptions taking place: Tvashtar’s 290-km (180-mile) high dust plume at the 11 o’clock position, Prometheus’ 60-km (40-mile) high plume at 9 o’clock, and Masubi’s eruption appearing as a bright spot near the bottom on the night side.
From 4 million km (2.5 million miles) away, New Horizons’ LORRI instrument photos Io’s Tvashtar volcano erupting. Jupiter’s tidal interaction with Io heats it up and causes it to be volcanically active. The bright photo shows Tvashtar erupting a huge dust plume at the 11 o’clock position. The bumps at the 2 o’clock position are tall mountains. The darker photo shows surface features of Io.
This is the best image of a large volcanic plume on Io since the Voyager flybys in 1979.