Io, Jupiter’s Exploding Moon: Unique in the Milky Way?

Jupiter's moon Io


In February 2001, an eruption from the Surt volcano on the hellscape of Jupiter’s moon, Io, the volcanic epi-center of our solar system, exploded with an estimated output of an almost incomprehensible 78,000 gigawatts. By comparison, the 1992 eruption of Mount Etna, Sicily, was estimated at 12 gigawatts. During its peak, observed by the WM Keck II Telescope on Hawaii, its output almost matched the eruptive power of all of Io’s active volcanoes combined.