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Sunrise as seen from the surface of Jupiter's moon Io with a sulfur dioxide plume on the horizon; allotropes of sulfur; volcanoes; explosive volcanism; tidal heating; tidal dissipation - Space Art Illustration

Sunrise on Io

Frozen crystals of sulfur dioxide settle on Io's effervescent surface like new-fallen snow. Far from an active volcanic caldera, and far from our own sun, the temperature here is a nippy - 225 F. 

Beyond the horizon the cerulean plume of a sulfur dioxide geyser sprays into the vacuum of space. As there is virtually no atmosphere to disrupt this flow, the individual particles making up the plume follow ballistic trajectories, forming in whole a classic parabola.


Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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