Monthly Archives: March 2015


Jupiter and Io part five

jup_io_p5_p1jup_io_p5_p2What a heady smell of melted cheese and tomato! Outraged, the little dog realized he’d been dozing. A voice was calling out “Turbo, Turbo, what are you snapping at the air for? Is it a fly or a tic? I’ve finished the essay on Jupiter and Io. And there’s tomato and cheese pizza in the oven, to have after your dog food.”


“What’s that cheery Marina on about?  thought Turbo. “I’ve just been on a trip to Io and Jupiter. What’s the bet I could write the essay better than she can.


He pottered happily into the kitchen, wagging his stumpy little tail behind him, anticipating a good dinner.jup_io_p5_p3jup_io_p5_p4




Jupiter and Io part four

jupiandio_p1Dragging himself up he launched himself back into space. Inadvertantly he looked out towards one of Jupiter’s moons Io. Reds yellows, oranges and blacks. Huge volcanoes were erupting, throwing up vapours some 200 miles high.

Mesmerized, Turbo’s jaw fell as he watched Io spin round Jupiter, distorting itself into an elongated shape pointing towards its father planet. The planet’s shape changed along its orbit as it followed its egg shaped path.


With 400 active volcanoes, Io is the most geologically active object in the Solar System. Some of these peaks are taller than Mount Everest. One of the ten highest peaks is called Euboea Montes.
The estimated volume of the debris apron is about 25,000 km3. If this is true, then Euboea Montes has arguably one of the largest debris aprons in the Solar System.


jupiandio_p3The ground of Io kneaded and sprewed. Io was producing such heat that Turbo panted, and almost wished he could crop himself out of the picture. Io he remembered produced almost as much heat as the Sun. Eight huge umbrella shaped forms pulled up from Io. Brilliant shades of orange yellow and white enveloped the little dog’s view. Darker clouds of the planet showed the larva solidifying.



jupiandio_p4It triggered off something in Turbo’s memory and he remembered watching Marina toast sandwiches of tomato and cheese under the grill. Io’s geysers and eruptions reminded him of baked tomato and cheese pizza. How to conciliate pizza and volcanoes? he thought impulsively, he sniffed at the air and…..


Jupiter and Io part three

Turbo_Io1He was overtaken by the deeper clouds and the smell of hydrogen sulphide, bad eggs. The gases were tingeing the clouds orange and brown now. Dark and light clouds formed round the little dog.


Unperturbed, Turbo allowed himself to be pulled down further-about one third deeper into Jupiter’s core.


turbo_Io_2He looked about him and did a quick retake. The gases had become liquid. The ocean had been transformed from cloudy and colorless to one of liquid silvery metal.


turbo_Io_3“To explain minimises ” breathed Turbo. “This must be the same hydrogen helium mixture but the pressure is high so the hydrogen becomes like metal.”
Turbo precipitated himself at full tilt towards Jupiter’s centre. This was to be the Great Probe. He was a Dog of knowledge used to having his audience on his side. Bump.


“You dim wit” he muttered to himself. “You lapsed scientist you!” Marina’s father said Jupiter’s core was made of rock. And you’ve landed on it. He rolled himself over and bent his head to lick his sore back and bruised spine. He was paranoid about falling and more than a little nettled with himself.