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August 25 2013

Huge lava fountains seen gushing from Jupiter moon


One of the most massive volcanic eruptions in the solar system has been spotted on Jupiter's moon Io by a telescope perched on a volcano on Earth.

On 15 August the Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii recorded fountains of lava gushing from fissures in the Rarog Patera region of Io. Heated by gravitational squeezing from Jupiter and its other moons, Io is covered in volcanoes that erupt almost continuously. This event is easily in the top 10 yet seen on Io by humans, says Ashley Davies of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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