Astronomers have spotted an enormous lava lake Loki on Io, the fifth of Jupiterâ€™s moons
Adam Rifkin stashed this in The Universe
Comment from Reddit planetary scientist:
This is not news because we "discovered volcanism" on Io. We've known that Io is the most volcanically active world in the solar system since the Voyager flybys, which discovered a crater-free surface (meaning very young), covered withÂ activeÂ volcanic complexes, and giantÂ volcanic plumes. The Galileo mission returned a wealth of data in the mid-90s and early 00s (despite having a crippled high-gain antenna, which resulted in a massive loss of data downlink capability).Â This included amazing high-resolution data of active lava flows that completely surpasses what is covered in this news article.
This paper is important, not because theyÂ discoveredÂ volcanism, but because they're monitoring it from ground-based observatories. In particular, they're using adaptive optics to actually spatially resolve volcanic features. This is important for monitoring the evolution of volcanic features (which changeÂ rapidlyÂ at Io). Infrared observations can also be used to infer something about the temperature of the lava flows, and their associated composition.