Category: 

How Does Jupiter's Shadow Affect Its Moons?

Jupiter is by far the largest planet in the solar system. The planet's massive size -- and thus, its massive shadow -- has a profound effect on one of Jupiter's larger moons, Io. Io's atmosphere is composed of sulfur dioxide gas. When Jupiter's shadow passes over, Io's atmosphere freezes and collapses down to the moon's surface. When the eclipse passes and the moon is once again in sunlight, the atmosphere returns to gas form and restructures itself. In this way, Io's atmosphere is constantly undergoing collapse and repair.

More about Jupiter and Io:

  • Jupiter is thought to have at least 67 moons. The four largest moons are Ganymede, Callisto, Io, and Europa.

  • Io is a volcanic moon. Its volcanoes are the source of the sulfur dioxide that makes up its atmosphere.

  • An Ionian day is equivalent to about 1.7 Earth days.

Follow wiseGEEK:
  twitter

More Info: Space.com

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Helium is the only element that was discovered in space before it was found on Earth.  more...
 
December 10 ,  1948 :  The UN adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  more...