volcano on jupiter?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Introductory Geology, Oswego State : One Thread

I recently heard something on cnn about some sort of a volcano or large explosion that happened on jupiter in march or this winter. I was just wondering if anyone knew anything about this. Is jupiter's interior similar to earths? Does jupiter have plates that cause volocanoes, or does something different cause action that is similar to volcanoes?

-- Joel Bouchard (jboucha1@oswego.edu), April 05, 2001


Jupitor does not have land masses like earth, it is gasous. However Jupitor's moon has several volcanos, and one called Io. The volcanos form not from plates but from tital friction.

-- Kelly Wirth (kwirth@oswego.edu), April 06, 2001.

Recently, there was an explosion on one of Jupiters moons. The volcano Prometheus on the moon Io "erupted" and caused sulfur dioxide gas to scatter across the moon. This sulfur material solidified and appeared to cover Io. It is said on the website Cosmiverse (http://www.cosmiverse.com/space111403.html) that little is known about sulfur chemistry. Jupiters interior is not very similar to ours. It is a gaseous planet. Tidal heating is what causes the volcanic activity on Io. In an excerpt from an article in Scientific America (http://www.sciam.com/2000/0200issue/0200johnson.html) it is stated "The answer may lie in the orbital resonance of the inner three Galilean satellites. Io goes around Jupiter precisely four times for each time Europa completes two circuits and Ganymede one. Like pushing a child's swing in time with its natural pendulum period, this congruence allows small forces to accumulate into large outcomes--in this case, distorting the orbits from their default circular shape into more oblong ellipses. The effect on the moons is profound. Because the distance between them and Jupiter is continuously changing, the influence of Jupiter's gravity waxes and wanes, stretching the moons by an ever varying amount. The process, known as tidal heating, drives the volcanism on Io." This tells us that volcanic activity is not due to plates, but the different orbits that cause tidal heating.

-- Erin Varley (varley@oswego.edu), April 11, 2001.

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