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

One engine from a Boeing 777 delivers more than twice the horsepower of all the steam engines on the RMS Titanic.  more...
 
April 27 ,  1974 :  Over 10,000 people marched on Washington demanding Nixon's impeachment.  more...