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Surface changes at Masubi, Io, between Galileo and New Horizons

Surface changes at Masubi, Io, between Galileo and New Horizons

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NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

Surface changes at Masubi, Io, between Galileo and New Horizons
Image B is from Galileo and shows a long, dark lava flow emanating from the volcanic vent on Io called Masubi. In image C, from New Horizons, the previous flow has been obscured by a new, shorter flow and associated plume deposits. In image D, also from New Horizons, the old flow is visible again.

How is this possible? The difference between the two New Horizons images is the solar phase angle, the direction from which the Sun is shining. The lava flow probably has a rough surface. When the Sun is high overhead, as in image C, New Horizons sees mostly the dust lying on the tops of the rough surfaces. When the Sun is coming from the side, as in image D, the rough surface of the older lava flow results in lots of shadowed areas, making the old lava flow visible under the frost.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about March 1, 2007

Explore related images: Jupiter's moons, New Horizons, Io, pretty pictures, Galileo

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