Pioneer 10 Observations of the Ultraviolet Glow in the Vicinity of Jupiter

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Science  25 Jan 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4122, pp. 317-318
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4122.317


A two-channel ultraviolet photometer aboard Pioneer 10 has made several observations of the ultraviolet glow in the wavelength range from 170 to 1400 angstroms in the vicinity of Jupiter. Preliminary results indicate a Jovian hydrogen (1216 angstrom) glow with a brightness of about 1000 rayleighs and a helium (584 angstrom) glow with a brightness of about 10 to 20 rayleighs. In addition, Jupiter appears to have an extensive hydrogen torus surrounding it in the orbital plane of Io. The mean diameter of the torus is about equal to the diameter of the orbit of Io. Several observations of the Galilean satellites have also occurred but only a rather striking Io observation has been analyzed to date. If the observed Io glow is predominantly that of Lyman-α, the surface brightness is about 10,000 rayleighs.