A STUNNING image of Jupiter’s moon has been revealed in exceptional detail by a Nasa probe.
The Juno spacecraft made a close fly-by to– the most volcanic object in our Solar System.
The close pass, just 930 miles from the surface, took place on December 30, 2023.
And it allowed Juno to picture the distant moon in stunning detail.
The orbiter had already made 56 fly-bys of Jupiter since its launch in August 2011.
There’s another one scheduled for February 3, which will be similarly close.
Io is the third-largest – and innermost – of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons.
It’s a little larger than Earth’s own moon and is believed to have the lowest amount of water of any object in our Solar System.
What’s particularly interesting to scientists is how volcanically active the moon is.
Io is estimated to have more than 400 active volcanoes, some of which create sulfur plumes rising 300 miles above the surface.
The moon is mostly made up of rock surrounding a molten core, with its surface littered with over 100 mountains.
It was discovered by legendary Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in January 1610.
Due to Jupiter’s brightness, you’ll need binoculars or a telescope to see the planet’s largest moons.
Nasa’s Juno probe entered a polar orbit of Jupiter on July 5, 2016.
And one day – once its mission is complete – it will be deorbited into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
It’s expected to continue operations until September 2025, but mechanical issues could always end its Juno’s mission early.
Dozens of orbits are still planned before the probe is burnt up in the atmosphere.
This purposeful deorbit is designed to protect the moons from an impact and contamination.