Investigations into lava lakes on the surface of Io, the intensely volcanic moon that orbits Jupiter, may provide clues to what Earth looked like in its earliest phases, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.



“When I look at the data, it becomes startlingly suggestive to me that this may be a window onto…..

a window onto the primitive history of Earth,” said Tracy K. P. Gregg, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.



“When we look at Io, we may be seeing what Earth looked like when it was in its earliest stages, akin to what a newborn baby looks like in the first few seconds following birth,” she added.



Gregg and Rosaly M. Lopes, Ph.D., research scientist at JPL, gave a presentation about Io’s volcano, Loki, on Tuesday (March 16, 2004) at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston.



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