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Io is the third largest of Jupiter’s four large moons. It was discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610.

With a relatively flat surface that is continually changing through volcanic activity, Io has a diameter of 3,630 kilometres and orbits at a distance of 421,600 kilometres from the surface of Jupiter.

The very cold surface of the moon appears to be mostly sulphur with deposits of frozen sulphur dioxide, while its large core seems to be composed of iron.

The intensity of Jupiter’s magnetic field causes sulphur to be continually pulled from the moon’s surface, creating a highly radioactive cloud marking its orbit.

Related Entries for Io
Natural Phenomena: Jovian Eclipse
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Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Created: 5 May 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000420

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