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NASA Space Science

Probe Shows Jupiter Moon 'Puking' Into Space 152

Posted by Zonk
from the intergalactic-bodily-fluids dept.
Tablizer writes "The New Horizons probe caught the moon Io in the act of 'barfing' into space. A five-frame sequence from the New Horizons probe captured a beautiful plume of ash from Io's Tvashtar volcano. "Snapped by the probe's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter earlier this year, this first-ever "movie" of an Io plume clearly shows motion in the cloud of volcanic debris, which extends 330 kilometers (200 miles) above the moon's surface ... The appearance and motion of the plume is remarkably similar to an ornamental fountain on Earth, replicated on a gigantic scale.""
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Probe Shows Jupiter Moon 'Puking' Into Space

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  • Dizzy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @03:55PM (#19459817)
    It's probably just dizzy from all that spinning.
    • by Kwiik (655591)
      sounds like it got as drunk as I did last night
      I wonder if it's hang over is as terrible..
      • by Miseph (979059)
        Considering it projectile vomited hard enough to go orbital... yeah, I'd say it's at least as bad.
    • Re:Dizzy (Score:5, Informative)

      by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @05:16PM (#19460277) Homepage
      Since its tidally locked to Jupiter (just like the Moon is to the Earth), then there's not much spinning to be concerned about.

      Io is heated continually by tidal friction, leaving its core molten and its surface full of lava lakes and the vents and calderas of active volcanoes. The tide raising force of Jupiter raises the surface of Io in some places by several meters.
      • by hazem (472289)
        Since its tidally locked to Jupiter (just like the Moon is to the Earth), then there's not much spinning to be concerned about.

        Io appears to be rotating. Look at the features as they move past where the light and dark meet (I know there's a word for this - ahh, terminator). You can see features moving across the terminator fairly quickly in this 8 minute film clip. Either the light source is moving or the moon is rotating.

        Am I missing something? Or is it merely that the rotation has little effect on wha
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by KingArthur10 (679328)
          Tidal locking means that the same face is always facing the planet (or the sun, in the case of a planet). This means that the moon is rotating at the same speed as it orbits the planet. Since Io orbits Jupiter every 1.769 earth days, it also makes a complete rotation every 1.769 days, also. There is definitely plenty of spinning going on for that moon.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ari_j (90255)
          While someone else pointed out that Io rotates on the same period as its orbit, don't forget that the photos were taken by a probe as it flew past Jupiter - in other words, the camera was far from stationary. I don't know the path that the probe took, but regardless of that, flying past a sphere gives the impression that the sphere is rotating. In summary:
          1. Io is rotating, contrary to the comment that asserted that tidal locking == no rotation (even though that's clearly not what he meant, it is what he s
        • It's not rotating. The effect you're seeing is called libration [britannica.com] plus the effect of the spacecraft moving away. If you take timelapse photos of the Moon then you can see libration in action [pixheaven.net]
    • Or, Ganymede is secretly assfucking it while Jupiter is not looking. Expect Ganymede being ejected from Jupiter's orbit real soon now!
  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Iwanowitch (993961) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @03:55PM (#19459819)
    So... The demotion of Pluto has finally reached Jupiter?
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday June 10, 2007 @03:56PM (#19459829)
    So, why does the summary title and text use the terms "puking" and "barfing" when the article itself doesn't make any such references? Gratuitous? "Submitter's license"?

    I mean, was that really necessary? Or is the story not interesting enough itself without toilet humor?
    • He's just trying to break wind--I mean step with the usual Slashdot submitters.
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:05PM (#19459885) Journal
      If I had uranus in my vicinity all day long, I'd be barfing too!

      Wait.. Maybe that comment wasn't what you were looking for :)
    • by bushboy (112290) <lttc@lefthandedmonkeys.org> on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:09PM (#19459923) Homepage
      I thought it was because of the high level of education in the USA?

      "Whooa dude, that Io's like, err, like, err, barfing dude! - hehhehhhehehehhehhe"
      "shwoaaah yeah, it's puking man! - kewl! - ehherrheehhheheh"
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by Tablizer (95088)
        I thought it was because of the high level of education in the USA?

        You assume that other nations don't like having a little word-play fun. Getting into college and reading for enjoyment are two different things.

        And frankly, critizing the US education motivation is somewhat unfair because becomming a business owner or biz manager pays so much more *compared to* science and math in the US that there is far more motivation in those countries to focus on sci-math in the schools: they don't have the options we
      • by Anonymous Coward
        put the distance in kilometers?
        • Yes, measurements in space are rarely on the SAE system. Especially after that incident in space because both measurements were used and mixed (don't remember which now), but even historically, measurements outside Earth's atmosphere have been Metric.
    • by TopSpin (753) * on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:17PM (#19459963) Journal
      I saw this story in Firehose and thought; interesting story, too bad the puerile wording will keep it off the front page...

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by h00pla (532294)
        You have, of course, totally overestimated the taste of the editors.

      • by ari_j (90255)
        Curiously enough, it's actually the use of words like puerile that will keep articles off the front page.*

        I agree that this was just gratuitous. My favorite part is that the submitter put "barfing" into quotation marks, as if it wasn't his word. My second favorite part is that the use of the word combined with the phrase "into space" implies that it is spewing matter beyond its sphere of influence. Watching the animated gif from TFA makes it seem (at least to me, IANAE (I am not an exogeologist)) that
        • by gkhan1 (886823)
          "Exogeologist"? That doesn't sound right to me... If I remember my languages correct, "exo" means outside, "logist" comes from logos, meaning word or knowledge, but correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the "geo" part mean earth? As in the geocentric model of the universe, for instance? That just doesn't make any sense. Shouldn't it be... I don't know... "exolithiology"? Maybe something involving tectonic, "astrotectonology"? "Astrolithiology"? I think "exolithiology" is the best one. At any rate, "exogeology
          • by ari_j (90255)
            I actually spent some time looking into what word to use. I would have gone with "iologist," but I couldn't find an apropos use of that term so I went with exobiologist, which is listed as an alias of astrogeology on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. I don't like using geocentric terms when discussing other heavenly bodies, but wasn't left much real choice here.
      • I saw this story in Firehose and thought; interesting story, too bad the puerile wording will keep it off the front page...

        Yeah, me too. It'd be nice to be able to include a one-line comment explaining why you're voting no. Often there are reasonably interesting stories with poorly-written submissions. I vote no figuring someone else will submit the same story with a better write-up, but it would be better if I could somehow note that. (Such as on Wikipedia, where you can explain an edit.)

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It is known as artistic license.
    • Agreed. The use of quotation marks in the submission really makes it sound like those words were used in the article itself.

      This may be a bit too much pop-psych, but I can't help but wonder if the desire to trivialize awesome natural events like this, Beavis-and-Butthead-style, comes from fear. A volcano with a 200-mile-high plume is not really the sort of thing the human mind handles very easily. I mean, we know what it is, and we can look at the pretty pictures on our screen and ooh and aah, but the ca
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      So, why does the summary title and text use the terms "puking" and "barfing" when the article itself doesn't make any such references? Gratuitous? "Submitter's license"?

      What rule says that titles and summaries must be verbatim?

      I mean, was that really necessary? Or is the story not interesting enough itself without toilet humor?

      It provides an interesting visual metaphor. Not everybody likes everything dry and clinical all the time. Otherwise, we wouldn't have overlord jokes.

      -The Submitter- (but not the D
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Dunbal (464142)
        Otherwise, we wouldn't have overlord jokes.

              Well since you insist, I for one welcome our cosmic regurgitating overlords.
    • by monopole (44023)
      It's to express the awesome grandeur of space!
    • You're so right. Why didn't it say "ejaculating into space?"
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by CmdrGravy (645153)
        Indeed. I'd have liked to the seen the phrase "pumping hot moon spunk" somewhere in there too.

        The New Horizons probe caught the moon Io red faced 'pumping hot moon spunk' into the space void. A five-frame film sequence from the New Horizons planetry probe captured a gushing plume of jizz from Io's Tvashtar jizz hole. "Snapped by the snooping probe's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter earlier this earth year, this first-ever, so called, "movie" of an Io plume clearly

    • by trawg (308495)
      Welcome to the new world of RSS browsed-headlines
    • Io is it not "spewing" into space, but rather, back onto itself! (no toilet involved.)

      Whoever named that feature the Trashtalk Volcano knew too much...

  • Dude!!! If only I had a boogie board, then I could ride the ash fountain to the top! What? George Lucas wants to use the idea for his next Starwars movie? Bummer :(
  • by creimer (824291) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @03:58PM (#19459847) Homepage
    When did "puking" and "barfing" become scientific terms? Wouldn't "ejaculate" be a more appropriate term?
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @03:59PM (#19459853)
    So which is it? Puking or barfing? The summary leaves me confused.
  • I wonder if that's because it got a good look at Uranus?
  • by Orleron (835910) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:08PM (#19459913) Homepage
    ...the slutty drunken sorority moon of Jupiter.
  • by Dasher42 (514179) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:13PM (#19459943)
    Step 1: Find a science story about a well-observed and described phenomenon.
    Step 2: Add a purile, irrelevant adjective, one that will set you apart from the pack.
    Step 3: Write it up. Hello, interwebz. Let's move some ads!
    Step 4: News aggregate sites filter out the best from all the... oh wait, here comes Zonk. Go, go Slashdot!
    Step 5: Profit! :) :) :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dkf (304284)

      Step 3: Write it up. Hello, interwebz. Let's move some ads!
      Except the only link in the whole story (including the "Tablizer writes:" preamble) is to an ad-free site and there's no link concealing or other sorts of nefarious stuff either. Nice theory of yours, but the facts don't support it. Looks instead exactly like a good story spoilt by a potty-mouthed submitter. Like that's never happened before...
      • by Dasher42 (514179)
        Upon second thought, "puking" didn't sound like something to appear on an .edu page. S'pose you're right.
      • by CmdrGravy (645153)
        "Puking" and "barfing" may be unsuitable words to describe technical details in a scientific story but, believe me, they are far better choices than that phrase "potty mouthed" will ever be, for anything.

        "Potty mouthed" sounds like something a 3 year old might say.

  • that the universe is a living thing and that we are just microbes.
  • Puking? (Score:2, Funny)

    by jollyreaper (513215)
    Too much space mead?
    • Too much space mead?

      Offtopic? When the submitter uses "barf" and "puke" to describe astrophysical phenomena, offtopic no longer has any meaning.

      To bring this post back "on topic," allow me to submit the latest findings about the Big Black Hole [space.com] at the center of our galaxy, or as the original submitter might refer to it, the "Goatse Nebula."

      Incidentally, "space mead" was a great Cthulhu reference. Mod parent up or something unspeakable will eat you.

      ..0.o..
      ////|\\\\

      Shit, my Cthulhu looks like the guy on the Pringles can. Mod m

  • My God... (Score:4, Funny)

    by segedunum (883035) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @04:38PM (#19460079)
    It's full of puke.
  • Amazing pics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Teun (17872) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @05:15PM (#19460267) Homepage
    I'm amazed by this short sequence.
    Considering the distance it's a real neat proof of excellent space ship engineering.

    Looking at the hight to which the venting reaches this is one hell of a volcano!
    • this is one hell of a volcano!

      I have read elsewhere that the Volcanoes on Io are probably no bigger than a hot spring geyser on Earth. The plume goes up a long way because of the very thin atmosphere and low gravity.

      Even so, given the energy cost of getting there and the amount of radiation in the environment around it this moon is going to be unfinished business for the next 500 years or so.

      • Re:Amazing pics (Score:5, Informative)

        by phulegart (997083) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @08:56PM (#19461423)
        Not sure where you read what you read, but it is obvious that you did not RTFA, since from the article we learn...

        "Boosaule Mons, which at 18 kilometers (11 miles) is the highest mountain on Io and one of the highest mountains in the solar system, pokes above the edge of the disk on the right side." ... and although this is not the height of the volcano that is erupting, it points to structures on Io that are larger than anything here on earth.

        You might have read this...

        "Unlike most moons, Io has a "young" surface. Because there is so much volcanic activity, the surface is almost free of craters. Also, its volcanoes are quite unusual. Instead of erupting like a normal volcano, they erupt more like geysers do on earth." ...from http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_Solar_Syst em/Jupiter/Io [wikibooks.org] ...or you might have read this though...

        "Io has lots of thermal areas just like Yellowstone," says JPL's Bill Smythe. "The volcanic plumes get most of the attention but there are probably also things like fumeroles and geysers. On a previous flyby the Particles and Fields instruments saw a deficit of energetic particles over Io where gas was probably coming out of the surface -- but no plumes were seen. We call this the 'stealth plume hypothesis.' The closest Earthly analog to what's happening would be a water geyser like Old Faithful. In fact, if you put Old Faithful on Io it would be about 37 km high!" ...which came from http://science.nasa.gov/NEWHOME/headlines/ast04oct 99_1.htm [nasa.gov] and only indicates that due to conditions on Io, a familiar geyser on earth would eject matter quite high. However, with this data from the article...

        "the cloud of volcanic debris, which extends 330 kilometers (200 miles) above the moon's surface. Only the upper part of the plume is visible from this vantage point - the plume's source is 130 kilometers (80 miles) below the edge of Io's disk, on the far side of the moon." ... we can safely infer that the volcanoes erupting on Io are not similar to earth geysers in size, rather only in how they erupt.

        Volcanoes on Io are rather different in general from their Earth cousins. From Wikipedia...

        "Io's surface is dotted with volcanic depressions known as paterae. Paterae generally have flat floors bounded by steep walls. These features resemble terrestrial calderas, but it is unknown if they are produced through collapse over an emptied lava chamber as with their terrestrial cousins. One hypothesis suggests that these features are produced through the exhumation of volcanic sills, with the overlying material either being blasted out or integrated into the sill. Unlike similar features on Earth and Mars, these depressions generally do not lie at the peak of shield volcanoes and are normally larger, with an average diameter of 41 km (25½ mi), the largest being Loki Patera at 202 km (125½ mi)." ... in other words flat holes in the ground slightly similar to sinkholes. So personally, I wouldn't look forward to an eruption from the still active Loki, at a diameter of 125 miles. I mean, I wouldn't look forward to sitting ringside to that.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by volcanopele (537152)
          I think the Wikijunior article on Io's volcanism is being a bit simplistic. Basically, Io's volcanoes erupt like Kilauea in Hawaii, except the lava is a little less viscous (similar in viscosity to olive oil) so they don't build up large shield volcanoes like on Earth or Mars. The output also tends to be much greater. The plumes we are see on Io are not themselves the volcano, but are byproducts of Io's volcanism. Their size is a combination of the lack of a substantial atmosphere on Io and that moon's
          • by phulegart (997083)
            As I quoted from NASA, these volcanoes do NOT erupt like volcanoes on Earth. From my post...

            "Io has lots of thermal areas just like Yellowstone," says JPL's Bill Smythe. "The volcanic plumes get most of the attention but there are probably also things like fumeroles and geysers. On a previous flyby the Particles and Fields instruments saw a deficit of energetic particles over Io where gas was probably coming out of the surface -- but no plumes were seen. We call this the 'stealth plume hypothesis.' The clo
    • by master_p (608214)
      If our future weapons is anything like the Death Star or the Wave Motion Gun, does that mean that we can shoot at the volcano and blow up the planet?
  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Toandeaf (1014715)
    I don't have anything thoughtful to add about this, so I think I'll just do the cool thing and mock the title of the article. heh. it said puke.
  • Rovers and such (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is there any way to privately donate money for the purpose of sending probes, rovers and such to other moons and planets?
    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Is there any way to privately donate money for the purpose of sending probes, rovers and such to other moons and planets?

      The Planetary Society privately funded a solar sail experiment. Unfortunately, the rocket exploded during launch. But they did select launchers on price instead of reliability (aging Soviet military equip.), so I guess its a case of you get what you pay for.
             
      • by pimpimpim (811140)
        Aren't most of the current space missions done with space equipment based on soviet technology? And aren't a lot of those just going pretty nicely? (the modern european ariadne rockets seem to have less luck, also take a look at the far from unproblematic space shuttle launches). I wonder how much aging equipment there can be in rocket science, most of the stuff is not really made for re-use anyway. Everything that went up in space has to be built anew. The technological idea can be old, but 'old' is someti
    • Finally, we have found the true source of global warming!!!
  • Direction of spout (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tablizer (95088)
    At first I thought the direction of motion of the debri was from right-to-left. However, watching the animation loop for a while, it now appears that it is coming from the middle-to-right center of the plum and spreading out, but below the visible horizon. It is coming up, over the edge as it spreads out.
         
  • I prefer Ralphing.
    For a science that's so concerned about nomenclature (i.e. Pluto) how does puking or barfing even get used by a writer?
    • Voyager, Voyager... Not Viking. Viking went to Mars. But yes, good point. I think the eruptions on Io were one of those things got really surprised and excited about when reviewing the mission data a few years later. First time a volcano was caught in the act outside of Earth. This image is, of course, about 1000x better quality than the old Voyager data. :) And done over a time lapse as well, where Voyager just snapped some quick shots as it screamed past.
      • by toby (759) *
        Stupid mistake, thx ;)

        Somehow I had it in my head that it was Viking. I remember seeing the pictures in National Geographic at the time - I'm sure the Io volcano was a cover image.
  • I wonder how much mass Io lost when that thing blew up.
    • I wonder how much mass Io lost when that thing blew up.

      Do you think it's being ejected at escape velocity? It looks to me like it's falling back down.

      • It looks to me like it's falling back down.

        Most of it, but not all. The resolution is not high enough to show matter escaping into space.
        Keep in mind that Jupiter's ring is made of, and is replenished by, Io's volcanic ejecta.

        Someone further up the thread said this event was created by something more similar to a geyser than a volcano. Imagine standing on the surface of Io, as you would on Yellowstone, watching this baby from, let's say, half a kilometer. A stream shooting into space and arching in filam
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by volcanopele (537152)
          Nearly all of the material that is ejected in this plume returns to the surface and forms a giant red ring surrounding Tvashtar. Here is an image that shows the effects of a similar eruption in 2000 and 2001: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02588 [nasa.gov] As far as what it would look like, we don't have a higher resolution image of the plume, but the plume source was well imaged by Galileo during several encounters in 1999, 2000, and 2001. The source is a curtain of lava, very similar to what you migh
  • This movie is one of the best observations of Io's plumes taken. You can clearly see dust clumping within the plume and how those structures evolve over the 8-minute sequence. Galileo could have taken many movies like this, had it not been for the low bandwidth thanks to the broken high-gain antenna. This same praise can't be said for the description used in this article. First, this image was released almost a month ago. While very cool, and I'm certainly happy for Io to be discussed here (Uranus joke
  • Subject (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Legion303 (97901)
    A small tip for Slashdot submitters: don't put quotes around words that don't actually appear in the article, dumb fuck.
    • Particularly since the wording of the post seems to the main topic of conversation anyway. I have no particular objection to the wording of the post, but the quotes imply that the words came from the article, which they didn't. The first thing I did when I saw this post was to follow the link and search for "puke", thinking "NASA didn't say that, did they?!?!??".
  • "Uranus spewing gas and fluid emissions"
  • How much of that ejecta will end up in space, and how much will fall back onto Io? From what I could see, it looked like most of it was arcing back down onto the surface, although that might be the result of a trick of perspective.

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