How does Jupiter influence the conditions on its moons?

Moons Read more from
Chapter The Solar System

Another important influence exerted by Jupiter on its moons comes from the giant planet’s magnetic field. Jupiter spins so fast, and contains so much mass, that the magnetic field generated by it engulfs the nearby moons and bathes them with ionization and charged particles. Meanwhile, powerful volcanoes that erupt on the surface of Io eject large amounts of small particles into space; many of them are swept up into Jupiter’s magnetosphere, forming a doughnut-shaped torus of volcanic particles that form an ethereal envelope around the Jovian environment. (This structure is called, appropriately, the Io torus.)


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