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Eruption of the Tvashtar volcano on Jupiter’s moon Io, photographed by New Horizons, 1 March 2007, during its gravity-assist Jupiter flyby on its way to Pluto. I’ve brightened the pictures so that some detail on the darker part of Io is clearer.
The gif covers about 8 minutes of real time. If you count pixels and look up Io’s diameter, it looks like the plume’s “only” being thrown up to an altitude of 200km or so. But in fact the volcano is in the opposite hemisphere to the one we see here (albeit at a high latitude of about 67 degrees), and the plumes are reaching a height of over 300km.
There is much more detail about this volcano at the Gish Bar Times blog.
Earth, photographed by Galileo after its first gravity-assist flyby of the planet.
Pluto’s currently named moon is Charon. In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person. Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years. [x]
Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2011 and 2012 revealed two previously unknown moons of Pluto. So far, we have been calling them “P4” and “P5”, but the time has come to give them permanent names. If it were up to you, what would you choose?By tradition, the names of Pluto’s moons come from Greek and Roman mythology, and are related to the ancient tales about Hades and the Underworld.Ground Rules: Feel free to come back, but please do not vote more than once per day, just so everybody gets a fair chance to make their opinion known. We will take your votes and suggestions into consideration when we propose the names for P4 and P5 to the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Voting ends at noon EST on Monday, February 25th, 2013.