Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















Seeing Red

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
by Staff Writers
Laurel MD (SPX) Feb 29, 2008
This New Horizons image of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io was taken at 13:05 Universal Time during the spacecraft's Jupiter flyby on February 28, 2007. It shows the reddish color of the deposits from the giant volcanic eruption at the volcano Tvashtar, near the top of the sunlit crescent, as well as the bluish plume itself and the orange glow of the hot lava at its source.

The relatively unprocessed image on the left provides the best view of the volcanic glow and the plume deposits, while the version on the right has been brightened to show the much fainter plume, and the Jupiter-lit night side of Io.

New Horizons' color imaging of Io's sunlit side was generally overexposed because the spacecraft's color camera, the super-sensitive Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), was designed for the much dimmer illumination at Pluto.

However, two of MVIC's four color filters, the blue and "methane" filter (a special filter designed to map methane frost on the surface of Pluto at an infrared wavelength of 0.89 microns), are less sensitive than the others, and thus obtained some well-exposed views of the surface when illumination conditions were favorable.

Because only two color filters are used, rather than the usual three, and because one filter uses infrared light, the color is only a rough approximation to what the human eye would see.

The red color of the Tvashtar plume fallout is typical of Io's largest volcanic plumes, including the previous eruption of Tvashtar seen by the Galileo and Cassini spacecraft in 2000, and the long-lived Pele plume on the opposite side of Io. The color likely results from the creation of reddish three-atom and four-atom sulfur molecules (S3 and S4) from plume gases rich in two-atom sulfur molecules (S2 After a few months or years, the S3 and S4 molecules recombine into the more stable and familiar yellowish form of sulfur consisting of eight-atom molecules (S8), so these red deposits are only seen around recently-active Io volcanos.

Though the plume deposits are red, the plume itself is blue, because it is composed of very tiny particles that preferentially scatter blue light, like smoke. Also faintly visible in the left image is the pale-colored Prometheus plume, almost on the edge of the disk on the equator at the 9 o'clock position.

Io was 2.4 million kilometers from the spacecraft when the picture was taken, and the center of Io's disk is at 77 degrees West longitude, 5 degrees South latitude. The solar phase angle was 107 degrees.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Jupiter and its Moons
Explore The Ring World of Saturn and her moons
The million outer planets of a star called Sol
News Flash at Mercury



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Russia to search for life on Jupiter's moon Europa: report
Moscow (AFP) Jan 7, 2008
Russia plans to participate in a European mission to investigate Jupiter's moon Europa and search for simple life forms, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday, quoting a senior researcher.







  • Jules Verne ATV Atop Launcher
  • Killer Electrons Surf Celestial Tsunamis
  • NASA adds technologies Web feature
  • View From The Top At The Vehicle Assemby Building

  • Mars Express One Of Three Orbiters Preparing For Phoenix Landing
  • Opportunity Proceeds With Caution On Sandy Slopes
  • How The Atmospheres Of Mars And Venus Are Affected By Carbon Monoxide
  • The Next-Best Thing To Being On Mars

  • Arianespace Prepares For Its First Two Ariane 5 Missions Of 2008
  • Russia's Proton-M To Orbit Another UAE Telecoms Satellite
  • ILS Proton To Launch S2M Satellite For Mobile TV Service In Middle East And North Africa
  • Interorbital Systems Taps Destiny Space To Book Space Tourism And Satellite Launches

  • Falcon Investigates Pollution From The Dakar Metropolis Into Desert Dust Layers
  • NASA Extends Mission For Ball Aerospace-Built ICESat
  • CIRA Scientist Among Authors Of Book Celebrating 50 Years Of Earth Observations From Space
  • Indonesia To Develop New EO Satellite

  • New Horizons Crosses 9 AU
  • ASU Research Solves Solar System Quandary
  • Happy Second Birthday New Horizons
  • The PI's Perspective: Autumn 2007: Onward to the Kuiper Belt

  • US Experiment Takes The Lead In The Competitive Race To Find Dark Matter
  • NASA's Swift Satellite Images A Galaxy Ablaze With Starbirth
  • Crystal Bells Stay Silent As Physicists Look For Dark Matter
  • Powerful Explosions Suggest Neutron Star Missing Link

  • NASA shows off a moon robot
  • Northrop Grumman Integrating LCROSS Instruments
  • NASA Views Landing Site Through Eyes Of Future Moon Crew
  • NASA's Newest Concept Vehicles Take Off-Roading Out of This World

  • Hi-G-Tek And INTA Provide Wireless Trade Lane Security Solution For Lithuania
  • Boeing GPS Ground Control System Keeps Navigation Satellites Operational
  • Vodafone UK Sat Nav Powered By Telmap
  • Quest Global Selects TransCore's GlobalWave Trailer Tracking And Monitoring System

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement