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Keck AO survey of Io global volcanic activity between 2 and 5 mu m


We present in this Keck AO paper the first global high angular resolution observations of Io in three broadband near-infrared filters: Kc (2.3 mu m), Lp (3.8 mu m), and Ms (4.7 mu m). The Keck AO observations are composed of 13 data sets taken during short time intervals spanning 10 nights in December, 2001. The MISTRAL deconvolution process, which is specifically aimed for planetary images, was applied to each image. The spatial resolution achieved with those ground-based observations is 150, 240, and 300 km in the Kc, Lp, and Ms band, respectively, making them similar in quality to most of the distant observations of the Galileo/NIMS instrument. Eleven images per filter were selected and stitched together after being deprojected to build a cylindrical map of the entire surface of the satellite. In Kc-band, surface albedc, features, such as paterae (R > 60 km) are easily identifiable. The Babbar region is characterized by extremely low albedo at 2.2 mu m, and shows an absorption band at 0.9 mu m in Galileo/SSI data. These suggest that this region is covered by dark silicate deposits, possibly made of orthopyroxene. In the Lp-Ms (3-5 mu m) bands, the thermal emission from active centers is easily identified. We detected 26 hot spots in both broadband filters over the entire surface of the minor planet; two have never been seen active before, nine more are seen in the Ms band. We focused our study on the hot spots detected in both broadband filters. Using the measurements of their brightness, we derived the temperature and area covered by 100 brightness measurements. Loki displayed a relatively quiescent activity. Dazhbog, a new eruption detected by Galileo/NIMS in August 2001, is a major feature in our survey. We also point out the fading of Tvashtar volcanic activity after more than two years of energetic activity, and the presence of a hot, but small, active center at the location of Surt, possibly a remnant of its exceptional eruption detected in February 2001. Two new active centers, labeled F and V on our data, are detected. Using the best temperature and the surface area derived from the L and M band intensities, we calculated the thermal output of each active center. The most energetic hot spots are Loki and Dazhbog, representing respectively 36 and 19% of the total output calculated from a temperature fit of all hot spots (20.6 x 10(12) W). Based on the temperature derived from hot spots (similar to 400 K), our measurement can unambiguously identify the contribution to the heat flux from the silicate portion of the surface. Because the entire surface was observed, no extrapolation was required to calculate that flux. It is also important to note that we measured the brightness of the individual hot spots when they were located close to the Central Meridian. This minimizes the line-of-sight effect which does not follow strictly a classical cosine law. Finally, we argue that despite the widespread volcanic activity detected, Io was relatively quiescent in December 2001, with a minimum mean total output of 0.4-1.2 W m(-2). This output is at least a factor of two lower than those inferred from observations made at longer wavelengths and at different epochs. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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