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A. Exceptional Eruption on Jupiter's Moon, Io

Narrator: This is Science Today. Routine monitoring of volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon, Io, on the Keck II telescope in Hawaii, has turned up the largest eruption to date on Io's surface or in the solar system. Franck Marchis, a researcher in the department of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, co-led the group that witnessed the eruption.

Marchis: It's an amazing result because in two days it seems that we saw a volcanic eruption, which cover an area that is larger than the city of London. And this eruption is much more powerful, much more energetic, than any eruption you have on Earth.

Narrator: Remarkably, Marchis' team witnessed the eruption just ten minutes before Io rotated into the shadow of Jupiter and blocked their view. Despite this pressure, they were able to collect significant data.

Marchis: We can calculate what we call the thermal output, that means the amount of energy which is emitted by the volcano, and it's a thousand times higher than the brightest eruption seen on Earth by human.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.