Why are there active volcanos on Io?
I am a 8th grade student and I was wondering why there are active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io.
The volcanic activity on Io is mostly caused by the pull of Jupiter on Io. Just like Earth's moon gravitationally attracts the oceans, causing tides, Jupiter pulls on Io. Because the pull of gravity is dependent upon the distance between masses, Jupiter pulls more on the side of Io that is closer to it than on the farther side, stretching Io out to a sort of egg-shape. Io's orbit is elliptical, so sometimes it is closer to Jupiter than others. Its elliptical orbit is further perturbed by Europa and Ganymede, two of Jupiter's other large moons. Because of this, Io's surface bulges up and down by as much as 100 meters. These tidal forces provide the energy that fuels Io's volcanos. For more information on Io, check out these webpages:
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- Does the Moon rotate? Are there other moons that always keep one face toward their planet?
- Where can I find information on the moons of other planets?
- Why are there both high and low tides?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 24724 times since July 16, 2003.
Last modified: July 16, 2003 9:59:05 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)