News FocusFALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 14–18 DECEMBER 2009, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Magnetics Point to Magma 'Ocean' at Io

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Science  22 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5964, pp. 408-409
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5964.408-b

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Summary

Three of Jupiter's large moons have global salty oceans under kilometers of ice, but the fourth, Io, is just a ball of rock. Nevertheless, space physicists presented evidence at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union for a global ocean tens of kilometers beneath the volcano-pocked surface of Io. This one, however, would be mostly molten rock, harkening back to the solar system's very earliest days when most big, rocky bodies sported a magma ocean.