Nasa's Juno spacecraft orbiting the planet Jupiter has now found a previously undiscovered volcano on the small moon of Jupiter Io. As reported by the US space agency, the data collected by Juno has given the scientists some clue to a new heat source close to the south pole of Io.

Juno with its spectrometer mapper, Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper(JIRAM) operating in the near infrared collected the data on 16 December last year when the spacecraft was about 290,000 miles (470,000 kilometers) away from the moon.

Times of India reported that in a statement, Alessandro Mura, a Juno co-investigator from the National Institute for Astrophysics in Rome, said that the new Io hotspot picked up by the JIRAM was roughly 200 miles (300 kilometers) from the earlier outlined hotspot.

Juno to extract more information in the future

The team is leaving no stone unturned to collect the data and is evaluating the data collected in December last year and the data to be collected by JIRAM in the future (even closer) flybys of the Io moon according to NASA.

Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini and New Horizons were the past NASA missions for the exploration of the Jovian system. Over 150 volcanoes have been discovered by them. There is an estimation of about another 250 or more waiting to be discovered.

The United States space agency said that it will be Juno’s 13th science pass on July 16. Since entering Jupiter’s orbit on July 5, 2016, Juno has logged nearly 146 million miles (235 million kilometers).

Juno completed a five-year cruise to Jupiter. The spacecraft traveled a total distance of roughly 2.8 billion kilometers (18.7 astronomical units; 1.74 billion miles) to reach Jupiter.

What is Juno?

Juno is a NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter launched on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

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During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers).

Juno spacecraft measures Jupiter's composition, magnetic field, gravity field, and polar magnetosphere. It will also explore for clues about the formation of the planet including whether it has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, mass distribution, and its winds, which can reach speeds of up to 618 kilometers per hour (384 mph).

The spacecraft has also been in the news for picturizing the southern storms, the Great Red Spot of the Jupiter.