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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Io: One hot little number

Full-bodied Io   (NASA/JPL photo)
It’s not surprising that Jupiter’s moon Io was named after one of Zeus’ mortal lovers.  After all, human Io must have been pretty hot to catch mighty Zeus’ fancy.

So now we know that lunar Io harbors “waves of lava” within its “massive molten lake.”  These waves are thought to be responsible for Io’s periodic heat and light fluctuations.

Mythological Io underwent routine fluctuations also. Because she began as a priestess to Zeus’ wife Hera, Io
was treading on shaky ground.  When Hera discovered that Io was worshipping the wrong spouse, Queen Goddess went ballistic.

Some say she turned Io into a heifer (soon to be hamburger).  Others say that this was Zeus’ own doing.  Rumor mills being what they are, still others claim that Hera forced Io to wander Planet Earth without respite.  Who knows?  Perhaps that’s why Io eventually hightailed it over to Jupiter.


Copyright May 14, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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