A couple of days back, NASA’s Juno spacecraft got successful in capturing some of the stunning images of Jupiter. A black spot was found in the images captured by spacecraft on top of the planet’s churning clouds.
Scientists have discovered that it is a shadow cast by the planet’s volcanic moon, Io. The Juno mission made its 22nd close skim around 11th of September when the celestial geometry was right for Io to slip between the sun and the planet during one of its rapid-fire circuits of Jupiter. Io takes 1.77 Earth days to orbit the planet.
Io is the most volcanic moon in our Solar System, due to the heat generated by the close tug of Jupiter’s massive gravity. Of Jupiter’s four large moons, Io orbits closest to the planet, allowing it to cast a vast shadow on the gaseous giant.
Juno spacecraft has been orbiting the planet for more than three years. The spacecraft prioritizes on studying the planet’s atmosphere and interiors.
Scientists have also discovered that Loki, a volcano which is named after Norse trickster god, is going to erupt within a couple of days.
Io is a volatile moon pockmarked by volcanos and Loki is the largest among them. With the predicted cycle of 475 days between eruptions, Loki is running down the clock as the last eruption was in May 2018.