Jupiter’s innermost moon, Io, had a rough summer last year. Over two weeks, the tiny moon blazed with three vigorous volcanic eruptions, according to threepaperspublished in Icarus. The final blast was among the strongest ever seen on the tortured moon.
Io is the only place in the solar system, other than Earth, with active volcanoes. While eruptions are common, the new images suggest that powerful explosions may happen more often than previously thought. The volcanoes can teach astronomers not just about Io and its interaction with Jupiter, but also possibly about conditions on Venus and Earth when they were young.