Mapping Io's hot spots: Nasa has collated data to analyse the heat pouring out of the Jovian moon's volcanoes - the larger the spot, the larger the thermal emission
The data, collected by both NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft and ground-based telescopes, left researchers surprised at it disposes of the generally-accepted model of Io's internal heating
NASA has undertaken the task of mapping the pattern of volcanic heat on the surface of Jovian moon Io.
The heat pouring out of Io's hundreds of erupting volcanoes - the most volcanic place in the known solar system - indicates a previously unknown complex, multi-layer source, scientists found.
The data, collected by both NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft and ground-based telescopes, left researchers surprised at it disposes of the generally-accepted model of internal heating.
It was collated to build a map of hot spots, illustrating the amount of heat being emitted, that shows the global distribution and wide range of volcanic activity on Io. Most of Io's eruptions dwarf their contemporaries on Earth.
Researcher Ashley Davies, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, added: 'The fascinating thing about the distribution of the heat flow is that it is not in keeping with the current preferred model of tidal heating of Io at relatively shallow depths.
'Instead, the main thermal emission occurs about 40 degrees eastward of its expected positions.'
His colleague Dennis Matson added: 'The pattern that emerges points to a complex heating process within Io. What we see indicates a mixture of both deep and shallow heating.'
Click source to read FULL report from Graham Smith