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Earth-like volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon

Posted on Aug 05 2014 | IANS

Washington, Aug 5 : In a new finding, NASA scientists have reported three massive volcanic eruptions on one of Jupiter's moons.

This assumes significance as apart from Earth, Jupiter's moon "Io" is the only known place in the solar system with volcanoes erupting and spewing extremely hot lava like that on Earth, the US space agency said in a statement.

"We typically expect one huge outburst every one or two years and they are usually not this bright," said Imke de Pater, chair of astronomy at University of California, Berkeley.

"Here, we had three extremely bright outbursts, which suggest that if we looked more frequently we might see many more of them on Io," de Pater added.

The study of these eruptions will help scientists understand the processes that helped shape the surfaces of all the terrestrial planets, including Earth, and the moon, NASA stated.

This information is essential to better understand the physical processes involved in the heating and cooling processes on Io, de Pater concluded.

The findings were published in the journal Icarus.

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