Tuesday, May 3, 2016
4:00 pm
South Mudd 365

Planetary Science Seminar

The Volcanism, Atmosphere, and Tidal Heating of Io: A Multi-Year Observing Campaign
Katherine deKleer, Department of Astronomy, UC Berkeley
 Tidal heating is a major driver of geological activity on 
 rocky bodies in the Solar System, and may play an important role in many 
 exoplanets. On Io, the effects of tidal heating are clearly observable 
 in the form of large-scale volcanism, making it an ideal laboratory for 
 studying this process. I will present an ongoing observing campaign 
 aimed at understanding Io's volcanic activity, including its connection 
 to the atmosphere and to tidal heat dissipation. In 2013-2016 we 
 observed Io on 100+ nights with adaptive optics on the Keck and Gemini N 
 telescopes, making hundreds of detections of thermal emission from 
 individual active volcanic sites. Observations of bright outburst 
 eruptions indicate extreme effusion rates, while the spatial 
 distribution of activity during this period reveals significant 
 asymmetries and deviates from current tidal heating model predictions. 
 Ground-based programs of this nature are complementary to spacecraft 
 missions; I will discuss how these observations, in combination with 
 results from the EXCEED and Juno missions, can provide insight into the 
 impact of Io's volcanism on the jovian plasma system.
Contact Chris Spalding cspaldin@caltech.edu
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