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Space Science

Geologic Map of Jupiter's Moon Io Details an Otherworldly Volcanic Surface 25

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-wait-for-juno-to-get-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "More than 400 years after Galileo's discovery of Io, the innermost of Jupiter's largest moons, a team of scientists led by Arizona State University has produced the first complete global geologic map of the Jovian satellite. The map, published by the U. S. Geological Survey (PDF), depicts the characteristics and relative ages of some of the most geologically unique and active volcanoes and lava flows ever documented in the Solar System."
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Geologic Map of Jupiter's Moon Io Details an Otherworldly Volcanic Surface

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  • by rwade (131726) on Monday March 19, 2012 @04:04PM (#39407305)

    I would hope so...

  • Anyone have it converted to texture format for orbiter yet?

    http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/ [ucl.ac.uk]

  • Map obsolete in (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) on Monday March 19, 2012 @04:06PM (#39407331)
    3... 2... 1...
  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Monday March 19, 2012 @04:18PM (#39407411)

    Io is possibly the most volcanically active body in the solar system. The intense tidal heating it gets from jupiter has it literally turning itself inside out like clockwork.

    Any mapping of io is useless as a navigational aid. The best it can hope to bee used for is a high quality snapshot for geological analysis over time.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I realized this is Slashdot and no one actually looked at the map, but there are plenty of areas which are labeled a mountains that are centuries to hundreds of millennium old. It is after all a geologic map, so age is important.
    • Any mapping of io is useless as a navigational aid. The best it can hope to bee used for is a high quality snapshot for geological analysis over time.

      And, at this point, are you assuming that we create maps of moons of other planets to use as navigational aids, or for geological analysis?

    • by jd (1658)

      The only people needing navigational aids for the surface of IO are people playing space flight simulators or solar system-wide MMORGs. And, frankly, they don't care if the map is a little old. Though, live updates would certainly make the missions more exciting.

    • by volcanopele (537152) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:20PM (#39408551)
      Which is exactly what this map is for: geologic analysis, not navigation. As far as it being out of date, the most recent spacecraft data we have is from the 2007 New Horizons flyby, and while it did show changes since the last of the Galileo data from 2001, it wasn't so much as to be unrecognizable, just as the first Galileo images of Io from 1996 didn't reveal a surface that was tremendously different from that seen in the 1979 Voyager data. Besides, while there been some major new flows seen since Galileo (this map does not incorporate New Horizons data), like at Masubi and North Lerna Regio, most of the changes at a global scale are from transient diffuse deposits (fallout from volcanic plumes), which are shown in a supplemental map to the geologic map. No new mountains or volcanic depressions have been seen. Unfortunately, it will be 15 years or more before we get new data to update this map... Likely more since the Jupiter Europa Orbiter is being scaled down, enough to eliminate science during any Io flybys.
      • Which is exactly what this map is for: geologic analysis, not navigation.

        FTFA: "One of the reasons for making this map was to create [...] a tool for target planning of Io observations on future missions to the Jupiter system"

        In other words, navigation. GP was wrong about that too.

        (As for your other points, I was surprised how limited the volcanic resurfacing was. Most of the surface, while geologically young, is still achingly old by human standards; hundreds of millennia.)

  • And I thought that Google maps of other worlds would be cool.

    • by doston (2372830)

      And I thought that Google maps of other worlds would be cool.

      Aliens would sue for privacy invasion

  • So it's pretty close to Arthur C. Clarke description?

  • It'll be different the next time a spacecraft take a look.

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