Io: Evidence for Silicate Volcanism in 1986

Science  02 Dec 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4883, pp. 1280-1283
DOI: 10.1126/science.242.4883.1280


Infrared observations of Io during the 1986 apparition of Jupiter indicate that a large eruptive event occurred on the leading side of Io on 7 August 1986, Universal Time. Measurements made at 4.8, 8.7, and 20 micrometers suggest that the source of the event was about 15 kilometers in radius with a model temperature of ∼900 Kelvin. Together with previously reported events, these measurements indicate that high-temperature volcanic activity on the leading side of Io may be more frequent than previously thought. The inferred temperature is significantly above the boiling point of sulfur in a vacuum(715 Kelvin) and thus constitutes strong evidence for active silicate volcanism on the surface of Io.