Galileo to Taste Jupiter Before Taking Final Plunge
Galileo to Taste Jupiter Before Taking Final Plunge

Two free, public programs in Pasadena next week will present news and pictures from Jupiter's moon Io, a world where more than 100 active volcanoes are continually repainting the landscape in shades of yellow, orange, red, black and green.

Dr. Rosaly Lopes, a volcanologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will compare Io's and Earth's volcanoes Thursday evening, July 18, at JPL, and again Friday evening, July 19, at Pasadena City College. "Io is the strangest place in the solar system," Lopes said. "It has really hot lavas and a multicolored surface that's constantly changing because of so many active volcanoes. It gives us an opportunity to see geology in action and how volcanoes work in an environment totally different from Earth."

NASA's Voyager mission discovered active volcanoes on Io in 1979. The Galileo spacecraft has added abundant information about them while orbiting Jupiter since 1995. Ionian volcanoes resemble Earth's in styles of eruption, but they have hotter lava and greater scale, Lopes said. One of Io's volcanoes puts out more energy than all Earth volcanoes combined. Galileo has shown us an eruption blanketing an area bigger than Arizona, a tall lava curtain longer than Manhattan Island and a volcanic plume rising higher above Io than the International Space Station orbits above Earth. Internal heating from the tidal tug of Jupiter drives the volcanism on Io, which is about the same size as our own Moon.

Both of Lopes' lectures will begin at 7 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served. JPL is at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. The Thursday lecture will be in JPL's von Karman Auditorium. The Friday lecture will be in Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

The Thursday lecture will be webcast live and will be available afterwards at Pictures of Io taken by Galileo are available at

For more information, call (818) 354-0112. JPL is a NASA center and a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

News Media Contact

JPL/Guy Webster (818) 354-6278