August 1, 2009 Issue

Physics To Go 78 - Volcanoes--solar system

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Physics in Your World

Earth Observatory: Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands image
image credit: NASA; larger image

Earth Observatory: Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands

This image was captured by astronauts on the International Space Station early in the June 12, 2009 eruption of Russia's Sarychev Peak. See Earth Observatory: Sarychev Peak Eruption, Kuril Islands for a detailed explanation and quality animation of the event. Also, see this Bad Astronomy post for a video of the eruption at different speeds.

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Physics at Home

Exploratour - Volcanoes of the Solar System

Take a tour of the volcanoes in the solar system, starting from Earth and visiting Mars, the moon, Io, and more.


From Physics Research

Io's Alien Volcanoes image
image credit: NASA JPL; image source; larger image

Io's Alien Volcanoes

Do you see the two volcanoes on Io's turbulent surface? Check out this NASA Image of the Day for an analysis of the picture.

- Io's volcanoes are caused by tidal forces from Jupiter. Learn more about the volcanoes at Io's Alien Volcanoes.
- Io's volcanoes have caused some trouble for passing spacecraft. Find out why at Beware: Io Dust.  
- Other moons in the solar system may have volcanoes as well. Read about possible cryovolcanoes on Titan here.

(This feature was updated on August 16, 2013.)

Worth a Look

Earth Observatory: Plume from Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania

Ol Doinyo Lengai is a unique volcano on Earth – it is the only volcano with cool, carbon-based lava. Learn more about it here, and be sure to check out this picture of a 2007 eruption.

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