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Galileo spacecraft with Io and Jupiter

Galileo spacecraft with Io and Jupiter

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Credit

DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Galileo spacecraft. Artwork of NASA's Galileo spacecraft during its fly-by of the Jovian moon Io. Jupiter is seen beyond the moon. Galileo visited Io in October 2001, approaching within 200 kilometres of its surface. Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Numerous regions of glowing lava are seen on the surface, and a plume from an eruption is seen on the limb at lower left. The activity is due to its proximity to Jupiter, whose immense gravity creates powerful tidal forces in the moon. Galileo launched in October 1989 and arrived at Jupiter in December 1995. It spent eight years studying the planet and its moons before being deliberately crashed into the planet.

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