Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 29, 1996
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Io Full Face
Galileo Mission, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Io is a colorful place. The closest large moon of Jupiter, Io is the most volcanic moon in the Solar System with its surface being completely buried in volcanic lava every few thousand years. The black and red material corresponds to the most recent volcanic eruptions and is probably no more than a few years old. This image by the automated spacecraft Galileo highlights the side of Io that always faces away from Jupiter. In this image released last week, picture colors have been adjusted to enhance contrast, but are based on real composite infrared, green and violet-light images.

Tomorrow's picture: Grand Design Spiral Galaxy NGC 2997

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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