Explanation For Mountains On Jupiter's Moon Might Relate To Earth

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • May, 17, 2016, 07:53 PM
Tags : Jupiter, space
(Photo : Reuters) Jupiter's moon Io, the most volcanic body in the solar system, is seen in front of Jupiter's cloudy atmosphere in this image made from NASA's Galileo spacecraft and released October 24. The image, which is composed of data taken in the near-infrared, green and violet filters of Galileo's solid-state imaging camera and has been enhanced, is centered on the side of Io that always faces away from Jupiter. The black and bright red materials show the most recent volcanic deposits, probably no more than a few years old. The active volcano Prometheus is seen near the right-center of the disk.

To researchers, the composition of planet Jupiter's moon Io was a mystery. The moon is known for its high-peaking mountains and high level of volcanic activity. For a long time, researchers have been unable to debunk the process behind the formation of these features.

A new study from researchers from Washington University, St. Louis, found that the existence of these features on Io is actually not that strange.

"People suspected the two were related," said lead author Michael T. Bland, a research scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, about the high mountains and volcanic activity. "They hypothesized these mountains form by press faulting, basically blocks of Io's crust uplifting ... but it's hard to demonstrate that."

William McKinnon, a professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University, was also involved in the study. He noted how volcanic activity could have attributed to the mountains on the moon.

"The planetary community has thought for a while that Io's mountains might be a function of the fact that it is continuously erupting lava over the entire sphere," McKinnon said. "All that lava spewed on the surfaces pushes downward and, as it descends, there's a space problem because Io is a sphere, so you end up with compressive forces that increase with depth."

Previous studies regarding Io's mountains revolved around their morphology and how their shape had formed. McKinnon's approach and theory is much different and confirms that the giant mountains were conceived from volcanic activity and deep faults.

McKinnon's approach also explains why so many of Io's eruptions have occurred near its mountains.

"The compressive forces deep in the crust are incredibly high," Mckinnon said. "When these faults breach the surface, those forces are released, and the entire stress environment around the fault changes, providing a pathway for magma to erupt."

McKinnon argued that this correlation between volcanic activity and mountains on Io might explain how some of Earth's mountains were born. "Because there was still lots of volcanism, mountains like those on Io might have burst through the ocean. They might have been the first emergent land on Earth," McKinnon said.

Apparently there may be some relation between Earth and Jupiter's moon Io, as well. 

© 2015 Design & Trend All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


ENTERTAINMENT Jul, 26, 2016, 04:39 PM

Liam Payne Signs Another Deal

Latest Stories

ENTERTAINMENT Jul, 26, 2016, 04:39 PM

Liam Payne Signs Another Deal