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Galileo Imaging of Atmospheric Emissions from Io

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Science  06 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5429, pp. 870-874
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5429.870

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Abstract

The Galileo spacecraft has detected diffuse optical emissions from Io in high-resolution images acquired while the satellite was eclipsed by Jupiter. Three distinct components make up Io's visible emissions. Bright blue glows of more than 300 kilorayleighs emanate from volcanic plumes, probably due to electron impact on molecular sulfur dioxide. Weaker red emissions, possibly due to atomic oxygen, are seen along the limbs, brighter on the pole closest to the plasma torus. A faint green glow appears concentrated on the night side of Io, possibly produced by atomic sodium. Io's disk-averaged emission diminishes with time after entering eclipse, whereas the localized blue glows brighten instead.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: geissler{at}lpl.arizona.edu

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