SPACE

The atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon, Io, collapses every day

By JERHOW

August 6, 2016

Jupiter’s moon, IO, has an atmosphere that “deflates” for two hours every day when it is eclipsed by the giant planet. When that happens, sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere freezes onto the surface as ice, then “sublimes,” that is, returns to its gaseous state from solid when sunlight returns to the moon.

Here’s the link to the article at NASA:

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-research-reveals-fluctuating-atmosphere-of-jupiter-s-volcanic-moon

So what does that mean?

It means if we had front row seats on the surface of IO, not only would things be really, really stinky, but we’d also be watching the most spectacular World of Color lagoon show at Disney California Adventure, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen!

I don’t think the sulfur dioxide would smell particularly pleasant, but what a sight that would be, witnessing towering plooms of gas erupt and freeze right before our very eyes. Sounds pretty awesome to me.

The more our technology advances, allowing for greater discovery of our neighboring worlds, the more it seems clear we have a treasure trove of natural resources humanity can potentially utilize, perhaps as food, or fuel, or construction materials, to expand our presence “out there.”

It’s no longer the world that’s our oyster. It’s our galaxy.

by JERHOW

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