NASA Space Place: Space Volcanoes!

For years, most scientists figured that Jupiter’s moon Io didn’t have a lot going on. Many moons are ‘geologically dead.’

That means that they don’t have things like earthquakes, newly forming mountains, or volcanoes. But it turns out, these scientists were dead wrong about Io.

NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft took the first close up pictures of Io in 1979. The pictures showed a massive plume erupting from its surface into space. Not only did Io have volcanoes—they were active! This was the first time an erupting volcano had been found anywhere besides Earth.

There are volcanoes all around our solar system. But only a few places besides Earth—like some of the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune—have active ones today. Use the Space Volcano Explorer to learn more about our solar system’s many volcanoes.



Launched in 1998, NASA Space Place’s mission is to inspire and enrich upper-elementary-aged kids’ learning of space and Earth science online through fun games, hands-on activities, informative articles and engaging short videos.

With material in both English and Spanish and resources for parents and teachers, NASA Space Place has something for everyone.

Science Topics
Astronomy, Volcanoes
3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

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