“Locked in a perpetual tug of war between the imposing gravity of Jupiter and the smaller, consistent pulls of its neighboring moons, Io’s distorted orbit causes it to flex as it swoops around the gas giant,” NASA said in a statement online. “The stretching causes friction and intense heat in Io’s interior, sparking massive eruptions across its surface.”
Space.com reported that NASA has also filed a $17.5 billion federal budget request for 2015, with $15 million to be allocated toward a mission to “pre-formulation” process for an eventual mission to Europa.
“Europa is a very challenging mission operating in a really high radiation environment, and there’s lots to do to prepare for it,” chief financial officer Beth Robinson was quoted as saying. “We’re looking for a launch some time in the mid-2020s.”
Watch footage of the eruption on Io, as posted online, below.
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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