Scientists who study lava lakes on the surface of Jupiter's moon Io, can tell us about how Earth looked at the first stages of its existence, say members of the University of Buffalo and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA: "It may be that when we look at Io, we see the earth at the beginning of its history, sort of a newborn infant in the first few seconds of his life. "
Scientists are interested in one of the volcanoes of Io, called Loki. It is the largest volcano in the solar system. Volcano interested scientists because of disputes about whether it is an active lava lake, where molten lava is in constant contact with a large reservoir of magma in the crust of the satellite.
Using the models developed for the study of temperature changes in the active lava lakes on Earth, scientists have concluded that Loki behaves quite differently from terrestrial lava lakes. Then the authors of the work suggested that Loki and other lava lakes on Io's volcano look more like a high-challenge-ocean ridges on Earth. According to them, the features of plate tectonics on Earth make these long, narrow ridges, on the other hand, such tectonics on Io No similar emissions of heat and magma may be round, as is the case in Loki. Lava lakes on Io are working in the same way as ocean ridges on the Earth — through them to the surface ejected a large amount of lava, which then forms a new crust. In the most intense periods of its cycle of eruptions Loki throws a thousand square meters of lava per second.
Io no tectonic processes because the satellite is changing orbit between Jupiter and Europe. However, the tectonic processes on Earth began only after 200-500 million years after its occurrence. So Io can be very similar to the young Earth.
Battery News, 26.03.2004 11:32