ALMA observations of Io going into and coming out of eclipse

Imke De Pater, Statia Luszcz-Cook, Patricio Rojo, Erin Redwing, Katherine De Kleer, Arielle Moullet

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We present mm observations constructed from Atacama Large (sub)Millimeter Array (ALMA) data of SO2, SO, and KCl when Io went from sunlight into eclipse (2018 March 20) and vice versa (2018 September 2 and 11). There is clear evidence of volcanic plumes on March 20 and September 2. The plumes distort the line profiles, causing high-velocity (≥500 m s-1) wings and red-/blueshifted shoulders in the line profiles. During eclipse ingress, the SO2 flux density dropped exponentially, and the atmosphere re-formed in a linear fashion when reemerging in sunlight, with a "post-eclipse brightening"after ~10 minutes. While both the in-eclipse decrease and in-sunlight increase in SO was more gradual than for SO2, the fact that SO decreased at all is evidence that selfreactions at the surface are important and fast, and that in-sunlight photolysis of SO2 is the dominant source of SO. Disk-integrated SO2 in-sunlight flux densities are ~2-3 times higher than in eclipse, indicative of a roughly 30%-50% contribution from volcanic sources to the atmosphere. Typical column densities and temperatures are N≈(1.5±0.3)×1016 cm-2 and T ≈ 220-320 K both in sunlight and in eclipse, while the fractional coverage of the gas is two to three times lower in eclipse than in sunlight. The low-level SO2 emissions present during eclipse may be sourced by stealth volcanism or be evidence of a layer of noncondensible gases preventing complete collapse of the SO2 atmosphere. The melt in magma chambers at different volcanoes must differ in composition to explain the absence of SO and SO2, but simultaneous presence of KCl over Ulgen Patera.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Number of pages25
JournalPlanetary Science Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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