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NASA Space Science

Probe Shows Jupiter Moon 'Puking' Into Space 152

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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  • 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!
  • Rovers and such (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @05:44PM (#19460441)
    Is there any way to privately donate money for the purpose of sending probes, rovers and such to other moons and planets?
  • Direction of spout (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @06:39PM (#19460729) Journal
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:04PM (#19461467)
    Many of us carry tiny mobile phones that are capable of better quality video. Why is the image data and video data returned by these probes so poor?

    Well ok a phone cam only has to work a few meters in good lighting. Never the less, the size, power and bandwidth requirements for decent video is being reduced, in part by the consumer electronics industry. So what is the limiting factor these probes?

  • by volcanopele ( 537152 ) on Sunday June 10, 2007 @09:25PM (#19461551)
    Bandwidth and in this case, distance from the target. New Horizons required 3 months to return all the data it took during the mission, which included more than just images, but specta and in situ data as well. In addition, the images used to make this movie were taken from a distance of 3.8 million km! The image quality and resolution (~19 km/pixel) is actually much better than we would have gotten at a similar distance from Galileo, Cassini, or Voyager, the previous three missions to observe Io.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"