Unprecedented photos show the "tortured moon" of Jupiter's jaw-dropping features.  

The most volcanically active planet in our solar system, Io, is one of Jupiter's moons. Up close, flybys have shown us a lava lake and a massive structure on the moon's foreign surface known as "Steeple Mountain." 

In order to obtain the first in-depth pictures of Io's northern latitudes, NASA's Juno spacecraft—which was launched in 2016 with the primary goal of studying Jupiter and its moons—flew in December and February within about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) of the lava world's surface.

A mission that flew so close to Io had not been conducted in more than 20 years.   

"We were able to observe several active volcanoes on Io," stated Scott Bolton, the Southwest Research Institute's chief investigator on Juno, in a release.  

The 200-kilometer (127-mile) Loki Patera lava lake was the subject of some amazing close-ups and additional data.   

At the General Assembly of the European Geophysical Union in Vienna on April 16, Bolton revealed the results.  

A different research team's recent study, which was published in the journal Science on April 18, claims that the reason the topography lacks outlines   

Several spacecraft have explored Io, notably the Galileo mission in the 1990s and the Pioneer and Voyager probes in the 1970s.   

And now, more than ever, Juno's findings are assisting scientists in comprehending the mechanisms underlying the moon's volcanic activity.

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