Will a huge volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io erupt this month?

earthsky.org | 9/17/2019 | Deborah Byrd
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Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2019/09/volcano-Loki-Io-Jupiter-300x298.png

View larger. | Voyager 1 image mosaic – acquired in 1979 – showing a huge area of the volcanic plains on Jupiter’s moon Io. Numerous volcanic calderas and lava flows are visible here. Loki Patera, an active lava lake, is the large, U-shaped black feature, about in the center, toward the bottom of this image. Image via NASA PhotoJournal.

Jupiter’s moon Io is a world of active volcanoes, and Loki Patera is the largest of these, a great depression in the moon’s surface some 126 miles (202 km) across. An active lava lake resides in this depression, and the molten lava there is thought to be directly connected to a magma reservoir below. Above, the lake is likely covered over by a thin, solidified crust. Scientists peering through earthly telescopes have seen this area as continuously active. They think that the crust overlying the lake occasionally gives way, causing a brightness increase. In fact, Loki’s periodic eruptions are so regular that an astronomers has predicted one for this month. Loki is expected to erupt again in mid-September 2019, according to astronomer Julie Rathbun of the Planetary Science Institute based in Tucson, Arizona.

Work - Today - September - Meeting - European

She presented this work today (September 17, 2019) at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences in Geneva, Switzerland. She said in a statement that, if Loki behaves as expected, it:

…should erupt in September 2019, around the same time as the EPSC-DPS joint meeting.

Rathbun

Rathbun added:

We correctly predicted that the last eruption would occur in May of 2018. Volcanoes are so difficult to predict because they are so complicated. Many things influence volcanic eruptions, including the rate of magma supply, the composition of the magma — particularly the presence of bubbles in the magma, the type of rock the volcano sits in,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: earthsky.org
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