These Bright Spots Are Alien Volcanoes

As Voyager 1 approached Jupiter in the 1970s, scientists expected the spacecraft to find a world not unlike our moon. Io, the innermost of Jupiter’s largest moons, is about the same size and mass as the moon. It seemed reasonable to predict Io would turn out to be a cold, rocky world studded with craters, too.

Instead, Voyager found a world alive with volcanoes. The first plume was spotted by Linda Morabito, an engineer on Voyager’s imaging team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as...

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