Io, the third largest satellite of Jupiter (Photo: sen.com/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)
The process was known by researchers, but could be noticed only recently.
Atmosphere Io, one of the largest moons's Jupiter, freezes and thaws every time the subject comes from cosmic giant planet. The phenomenon of extreme cooling takes about 2 hours, out of the 42 that Io makes a complete orbit around Jupiter. It is the first time scientists were able to observe this process.
Io's atmosphere is composed mostly of sulfur dioxide formed during volcanic eruptions on Jupiter. Until now it was assumed that Io's atmosphere turns into ice during the 2 hours that satellite is in the shadow of the planet, but no one has managed to prove this.
Recently, a team of astronomers led by Constantine C.C. Tsang used ground-based telescopes to observe the natural satellite of Jupter. With this device could emit infrared specialists, which once reached Io's atmosphere, they were absorbed by sulfur dioxide. In this way, the researchers were able to measure the surface temperature of cosmic object.
It has been found that, when Io is behind Jupiter, the surface temperature of the satellite decreases from -146 degrees to -168, making the atmosphere of Io to freeze the extent of about 80%. After two hours the object is in this state, the sulfur dioxide contained in atmosefera evaporated and converted back into gas.
Jupiter Moon Io
Scientists say that recent results will help us to better understand the system in which the center is Jupiter. In this regard, experts have already estimated that over half of sulfur dioxide from volcanoes on Io propelled arrive, finally, to circulate around the gas giant.
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by sciencemag.org . Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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