Loki Patera, Io's Super-Hot Lava Lake

Loki Patera is the biggest volcanic depression on Io, and is shaped somewhat like a horseshoe. Its lava lake is consists of molten lava covered by a periodically overturning crust. The lake has been continuously active since at least 1979, when Voyager 1 conducted its flyby of Jupiter. Io has an estimated 400 active volcanoes on its surface, which cracks and flexes due to the gravity of Jupiter and Europa.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Io orbits Jupiter faster than its outer sister moons, Europa and Ganymede. 00:36

  2. The largest volcanic eruptions in the solar system occur on Io. 02:52

  3. Io's volcanic plumes can reach 500 km (310 mi) above its surface. 03:24

Written by Curiosity Staff October 13, 2015

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