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Poster communications

High Resolution Integral Field Spectroscopy of Europa's Sodium Clouds: Evidence for a Component with Origins in Iogenic Plasma.

Abstract : With the object of constraining Iogenic contributions and identifying drivers for variability, we report new observations of neutral sodium in Europa’s exosphere. An R~20000 integral field spectrograph at McDonald Observatory is used to generate Doppler maps of sodium cloud structures with a resolution of 2.8 km/s/pixel. In the five nights of observations since 2011, measurements on UT 6.15-6.31 May 2015 uniquely feature fast (10s of km/s) neutral sodium clouds extending nearly 100 Europa radii, more distant than in any previous findings. During these measurements, the satellite geometry was favorable for the transfer of Na from Io to Europa, located at 1:55 to 4:00 and 3:38 to 4:39 Jovian local time, respectively. Eastward emission (away from Jupiter) extends 10-20 Europa radii retaining the moon’s rest velocity, while westward emission blue-shifts with distance, and a broad range of velocities are measured, reaching at least 70 km/s at 80 Europa radii. These cloud features are distinct from Io’s “banana” and “stream” features, the distant Jupiter-orbiting nebula, and from terrestrial OH and Na contaminant emissions. Io’s production was quiescent during this observation, following an extremely active phase in February 2015. These results are consistent with previous findings that Europa’s Na exosphere has peak emission between midnight and dawn Jovian local time and support the idea that sodium escape from Io can significantly enhance the emission intensity measured at Europa.
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Contributor : Catherine Cardon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 2:01:03 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 4:47:03 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-01250861, version 1


Carl Schmidt, Robert Johnson, Michael Mendillo, Jeffrey Baumgardner, Luke Moore, et al.. High Resolution Integral Field Spectroscopy of Europa's Sodium Clouds: Evidence for a Component with Origins in Iogenic Plasma.. AGU Fall Meeting 2015, Dec 2015, San Francisco, United States. pp.SM31B-2491. ⟨insu-01250861⟩



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