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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Watching Volcanoes on a Distant Moon From the Comfort of Home
17 October 2012 11:30 am
Put your feet up on your desk, sip a cup of coffee, and watch volcanoes erupt millions of miles away. That's a luxury planetary scientists now have thanks to three large telescopes, two in Hawaii and one in Chile, all equipped with devices to counter the twinkling caused by Earth's atmosphere. Between January 2003 and November 2011, researchers made more than 40 observations of Jupiter's moon Io at near-infrared wavelengths, shown above at right and the region of Io where they took place, outlined in white at left. The researchers spied volcanic hotspots as small as 100 kilometers across. While most of the activity they've seen has been linked to the more than 160 volcanoes previously identified by camera-laden probes either orbiting or whizzing past Jupiter, the telescopes have identified volcanism in one region that had never experienced it before, the team reports today at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in Reno, Nevada. Io, which is slightly larger than our moon, is the most volcanically active orb in the solar system, yet its dynamism was unknown until Voyager 1 swooped past the satellite in 1979. Regular surveys of volcanic activity from Earth will fill the ongoing gap in detailed observations of the satellite by spacecraft, which stretches from September 2003—when scientists sent the Galileo probe crashing into Jupiter—until at least 2030.
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