Io's Volcanic Activity from Near-Infrared Observations during the EXCEED Mission
Abstract:We have been observing volcanic activity on Io in the near-infrared (1-5 microns) prior to and during the EXCEED mission's observations of the Io plasma torus. We imaged Io with adaptive optics on the Gemini N and Keck II telescopes, and observed with disk-integrated spectroscopy and imaging at NASA’s IRTF. Together these observations cover ~40 nights between August of 2013 and April 2014.
We present the time-variability of specific volcanic sites from our adaptive optics observations, and discuss three outburst events detected in a two-week period during August of 2013. The timing of these events just a few months before the start of the EXCEED mission provides a unique opportunity for assessing the impact of major volcanic eruptions on Io's atmosphere, the neutral cloud, and the plasma torus. Our data may help illuminate the processes linking Io’s volcanic activity with the other components Io-Jupiter system through correlation with the results from the EXCEED mission and other contemporary campaigns over a range of wavelengths.