Observations Of Plumes

The plumes of Io have been studied with a variety of observational approaches. During day-time, plumes can best be seen when illuminated at high phase angles, via sunlight reflected by fine particles of solid or liquid that are entrained with or condensed from the vapor. Plumes have also been imaged in transmitted light, silhouetted against the disk of Jupiter (Spencer et al., 1997) or casting shadows on the surface of Io. Plume gases have been observed through auroral emissions at near-infrared (de Pater et al., 2002), visible (Geissler et al., 1999, 2004a), and ultraviolet (Roesler et al., 1999; Retherford et al., 2000) wavelengths and inferred from analyses of thermal emission at millimeter wavelengths (Lellouch et al., 1992, 1996). These diverse data sets yield various perspectives of plumes that are the pieces of a puzzle that must be put together by theory.

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