Using data collected by the NASA Juno spacecraft, scientists have obtained clues to previously undiscovered volcanoes on the Jupiter satellite.
NASA said on Saturday that with its Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument, the Juno spacecraft discovered a new heat source near the Io South Pole.
Alessandro Muller, a joint researcher at Juno National Institute of Astrophysics in Rome, said in a statement: “The new Io hotspot JIRAM is about 300 kilometers from the hot spot on the nearest map.”
“We don’t rule out the movement or modification of previously discovered hotspots, but it’s hard to imagine a person who can travel so far and still be considered the same feature,” Mura added.
Infrared data was collected on December 16, 2017, when Juno was about 4, 70,000 kilometers from the moon.
NASA said that the Juno team will continue to evaluate the data collected during the over flight on December 16 and the JIRAM data that will be collected in the future (or even closer) Io flight.
NASA missions that have visited the Jupiter system (Voice 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini and New Horizons) and ground observations have so far placed more than 150 live on Io volcanic.
Scientists estimate that there are still about 250 waiting to be discovered.
Since entering Jurassic orbit on July 4, 2016, Juno has recorded nearly 235 million kilometers.
NASA said that Juno’s 13th scientific pass will begin on July 16.