Lava lakes could be Ionian versions of Earths mid-ocean ridges
region on Jupiters moon Io may provide clues to what Earth looked like as a newborn planet, say researchers from UB and JPL (Photo: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech).
Investigations into lava lakes on the surface of Io, the intensely volcanic moon that orbits Jupiter, may provide clues to what Earth looked like in its earliest phases, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo and NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"When I look at the data, it becomes startlingly suggestive to me that this may be a window onto the primitive history of Earth," said Tracy K. P. Gregg, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.
"When we look at Io, we may be seeing what Earth looked like when it was in its earliest stages, akin to what a newborn baby looks like in the first few seconds following birth," she added.
Ellen Goldbaum | University at Buffalo
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