Science and Exploration

Resolving Io’s Volcanoes From A Mutual Event Observation At The Large Binocular Telescope

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
November 29, 2021
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Resolving Io’s Volcanoes From A Mutual Event Observation At The Large Binocular Telescope
Image of Io from LBTI during the occultation on 2015 March 08; Europa’s limb can be seen covering a portion of Io’s surface. The four hot spots discussed here are labeled, and the best-fit locations of emitting areas, as derived from the light curves, are shown with stars. The light curve extraction aperture has an angular radius of 140 mas, or ∼450 km at disk center. Diffraction limit scale bars are provided for context and are calculated at 4.8 µm for aperture sizes of 8.4 m (the diameter of each LBT mirror) and 23 m (the full baseline of the LBTI).

Unraveling the geological processes ongoing at Io’s numerous sites of active volcanism requires high spatial resolution to, for example, measure the areal coverage of lava flows or identify the presence of multiple emitting regions within a single volcanic center.
In de Kleer et al. (2017) we described observations with the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) during an occultation of Io by Europa at ~6:17 UT on 2015 March 08, and presented a map of the temperature distribution within Loki Patera derived from these data. Here we present emission maps of three other volcanic centers derived from the same observation: Pillan Patera, Kurdalagon Patera, and the vicinity of Ulgen Patera/PV59/N Lerna Regio. The emission is localized by the light curves and resolved into multiple distinct emitting regions in two of the cases.

Both Pillan and Kurdalagon Paterae had undergone eruptions in the months prior to our observations, and the location and intensity of the emission is interpreted in the context of the temporal evolution of these eruptions observed from other facilities. The emission from Kurdalagon Patera is resolved into two distinct emitting regions separated by only a few degrees in latitude that were unresolved by Keck observations from the same month.

Katherine de Kleer, Michael Skrutskie, Jarron Leisenring, Ashley G. Davies, Al Conrad, Imke de Pater, Aaron Resnick, Vanessa P. Bailey, Denis Defrère, Phil Hinz, Andrew Skemer, Eckhart Spalding, Amali Vaz, Christian Veillet, Charles E. Woodward

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Journal reference: The Planetary Science Journal, Volume 2, Issue 6, id.227, 11 pp. (December 2021)
DOI: 10.3847/PSJ/ac28fe
Cite as: arXiv:2111.14013 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2111.14013v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Katherine de Kleer
[v1] Sun, 28 Nov 2021 01:13:56 UTC (7,319 KB)

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