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The collapse of Io's primary atmosphere in Jupiter eclipse

AutorTsang, C.C.C.; Spencer, J.R.; Lellouch, E.; López-Valverde, M. A. ; Richter, M.J.
Fecha de publicación2-ago-2016
EditorAmerican Geophysical Union
CitaciónJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets 121(8): 1400- 1410 (2016)
ResumenVolcanic outgassing due to tidal heating is the ultimate source of a tenuous SO atmosphere around Jupiter's moon Io. The question of whether SO frost on the surface plays a part, and to what degree, in maintaining Io's atmosphere with the constant volcanic outgassing is still debated. It is believed that for a sublimation-supported atmosphere, the primary atmosphere should collapse during eclipses by Jupiter, as the SO vapor pressure is strongly coupled to the temperature of the ice on the surface. No direct observations of Io's atmosphere in eclipse have previously been possible, due to the simultaneous need for high spectral and time sensitivity, as well as a high signal-to-noise ratio. Here we present the first ever high-resolution spectra at 19 µm of Io's SO atmosphere in Jupiter eclipse from the Gemini telescope. The strongest atmospheric band depth is seen to dramatically decay from 2.5 ± (0.08)% before the eclipse to 0.18 ± (0.16)% after 40 min in eclipse. Further modeling indicates that the atmosphere has collapsed shortly after eclipse ingress, implying that the atmosphere of Io has a strong sublimation-controlled component. The atmospheric column density—from pre-eclipse to in-eclipse—drops by a factor of 5 ± 2.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016JE005025
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1002/2016JE005025
e-issn: 2169-9100
issn: 2169-9097
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