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Geologic Map of Jupiter's Moon Io Details an Otherworldly Volcanic Surface

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the can't-wait-for-juno-to-get-there dept.

Space 25

An anonymous reader writes "More than 400 years after Galileo's discovery of Io, the innermost of Jupiter's largest moons, a team of scientists led by Arizona State University has produced the first complete global geologic map of the Jovian satellite. The map, published by the U. S. Geological Survey (PDF), depicts the characteristics and relative ages of some of the most geologically unique and active volcanoes and lava flows ever documented in the Solar System."

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Otherworldly? (4, Funny)

rwade (131726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407305)

I would hope so...

Re:Otherworldly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407321)

That means it's like Detroit.

Re:Otherworldly? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407391)

...but without naggers...

Re:Otherworldly? (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407513)

Otherworldly and othermoonly.

Orbiter download? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407315)

Anyone have it converted to texture format for orbiter yet?

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/ [ucl.ac.uk]

Map obsolete in (3, Insightful)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407331)

3... 2... 1...

sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (5, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407411)

Io is possibly the most volcanically active body in the solar system. The intense tidal heating it gets from jupiter has it literally turning itself inside out like clockwork.

Any mapping of io is useless as a navigational aid. The best it can hope to bee used for is a high quality snapshot for geological analysis over time.

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407435)

I realized this is Slashdot and no one actually looked at the map, but there are plenty of areas which are labeled a mountains that are centuries to hundreds of millennium old. It is after all a geologic map, so age is important.

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407609)

Any mapping of io is useless as a navigational aid. The best it can hope to bee used for is a high quality snapshot for geological analysis over time.

And, at this point, are you assuming that we create maps of moons of other planets to use as navigational aids, or for geological analysis?

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407819)

The only people needing navigational aids for the surface of IO are people playing space flight simulators or solar system-wide MMORGs. And, frankly, they don't care if the map is a little old. Though, live updates would certainly make the missions more exciting.

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407969)

It's also the best place (even better than Mercury) to pick up some radioactives to restore an orbital station's spent energy cores.

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (4, Informative)

volcanopele (537152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408551)

Which is exactly what this map is for: geologic analysis, not navigation. As far as it being out of date, the most recent spacecraft data we have is from the 2007 New Horizons flyby, and while it did show changes since the last of the Galileo data from 2001, it wasn't so much as to be unrecognizable, just as the first Galileo images of Io from 1996 didn't reveal a surface that was tremendously different from that seen in the 1979 Voyager data. Besides, while there been some major new flows seen since Galileo (this map does not incorporate New Horizons data), like at Masubi and North Lerna Regio, most of the changes at a global scale are from transient diffuse deposits (fallout from volcanic plumes), which are shown in a supplemental map to the geologic map. No new mountains or volcanic depressions have been seen. Unfortunately, it will be 15 years or more before we get new data to update this map... Likely more since the Jupiter Europa Orbiter is being scaled down, enough to eliminate science during any Io flybys.

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39411015)

Which is exactly what this map is for: geologic analysis, not navigation.

FTFA: "One of the reasons for making this map was to create [...] a tool for target planning of Io observations on future missions to the Jupiter system"

In other words, navigation. GP was wrong about that too.

(As for your other points, I was surprised how limited the volcanic resurfacing was. Most of the surface, while geologically young, is still achingly old by human standards; hundreds of millennia.)

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39408827)

Damn, and I was going to use the map to figure out how to get to the store....

Re:sadly, the map is probably already out of date. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412739)

most of the long-term surface changes resulting from volcanism are restricted to less than 15 percent of the surface, mostly in the form of changes in lava flow fields or within paterae.

And

“Because Io is so active, and continues to be studied by Earth-based telescopes, we are doing something different than producing just the paper geologic map,” says Williams. “We are also making an online Io database, to include the geologic map, the USGS mosaics, and all useful Galileo spacecraft observations of Io. This database, when completed later this year, will allow users to track the history of surface changes due to volcanic activity.

I wouldn't say it was useless, and it sounds like they're already doing what you're suggesting as well.

Yeah. I read TFA. I must be new here.

Worst case of mission creep (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407465)

Worst case of mission creep since the TSA started casing bus stations.

Re:Worst case of mission creep (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407511)

Oh noos! The gubberment paid tax dollars for knowledge. I'm gonna go burn an effigy of our fake Nigerian Nigra president and jack off to pichurs of Ron Paul.

Re:Worst case of mission creep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407573)

Government didn't pay shit. Taxpayers did.

Re:Worst case of mission creep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39407613)

Oh noos! The gubberment paid tax dollars for knowledge. I'm gonna go burn an effigy of our fake Nigerian Nigra president and jack off to pichurs of Ron Paul.

Sounds like someone has their shit together.

Misread that as "Google map .." (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407561)

And I thought that Google maps of other worlds would be cool.

Re:Misread that as "Google map .." (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407745)

And I thought that Google maps of other worlds would be cool.

Aliens would sue for privacy invasion

2001 (1)

Edzilla2000 (1261030) | more than 2 years ago | (#39407649)

So it's pretty close to Arthur C. Clarke description?

Better look fast (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#39408333)

It'll be different the next time a spacecraft take a look.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39412035)

This has been known for a long long time. Surely they can come up with something more than that.

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