NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0189

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Program Information for 2017A-0189


PI: Katherine de Kleer, UC Berkeley, kdekleer@berkeley.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 601 Campbell Hall #3411, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3411 USA

CoI: Imke de Pater, UC Berkeley

Title: The Impact of Io's Volcanism on Jupiter's Plasma Environment

Abstract: Jupiter's dynamic and volcanically-active moon Io resides in a complex and time-variable system of neutral and ionized particles, which are sourced by volcanic by-products from Io. Over the past two years, the ISAS/JAXA SPRINT-A/EXCEED mission has been observing the EUV emission from ionized S and O in the Jovian system in order to understand the physical processes and sources of variability. In January 2015, the EXCEED Mission detected an increase in sulfur and oxygen ion emission, which occurred simultaneously with a bright eruption on Io that we detected at Gemini N. This event points to a direct link between Io's atmosphere and the plasma density, but the detection of additional eruptions coincident with plasma events are needed to confirm this connection and determine the timescales of the processes. The arrival of Juno to Jupiter earlier this year, and the simultaneous ongoing EXCEED observations, provide a truly unique opportunity to study the effects of Io's volcanism on Jupiter's plasma environment, which these missions will probe via Jupiter's aurorae and direct ion emission. We propose to observe Io with ALTAIR/NIRI at 2.3 and 3.8 microns for 25 minutes, on as many nights as possible during the semester. We will analyze our results in conjunction with the results from the EXCEED and Juno missions, in order to assess correlations between the temporal variability of Io's volcanic activity and the plasma torus. Determining the mechanisms and timescales involved in transporting material from Io to the neutral cloud and plasma torus is the first step to understanding the planetary "tails" recently discovered trailing exoplanets in the Kepler dataset.

Program Type: Long Term/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017A):  GEM-NQ/NIRI -- 20hrs band 2 (GN-2017A-Q-53)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0189

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