HomeAstronomyNASA probe to inspect the solar system's most active volcanic world, Io

NASA probe to inspect the solar system’s most active volcanic world, Io

After exploring Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Europa, NASA’s Juno probe is about to set its sights on the third of the giant planet’s four main moons — the mysterious volcanic moon Io. 

Juno, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, received commands from NASA’s control teams to take images of Io on Thursday (Dec. 15). Io, about as big as Earth’s moon, will remain in Juno’s focus for the next year and a half as the probe performs a total of nine flybys of the moon, two of which will take the probe within 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of its surface. For comparison, the Orion spacecraft flew past Earth’s moon during the recently concluded Artemis 1 mission at a much closer altitude of only 80 miles (130 km). 

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