A Caltech Library Service

High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Observations of the Forbidden 1.707 μm Rovibronic SO Emissions on Io: Evidence for Widespread Stealth Volcanism

de Pater, Imke and de Kleer, Katherine and Ádámkovics, Máté (2020) High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Observations of the Forbidden 1.707 μm Rovibronic SO Emissions on Io: Evidence for Widespread Stealth Volcanism. Planetary Science Journal, 1 (2). Art. No. 29. ISSN 2632-3338.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Erratum
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present observations obtained with the 10 m Keck telescopes of the forbidden SO a¹Δ → X³Σ⁻ rovibronic transition at 1.707 μm on Io while in eclipse. We show its spatial distribution at a resolution of ~0.”12 and a spectral resolution of R ~ 2500, as well as disk-integrated spectra at a high spectral resolution (R ~ 15,000). Both the spatial distribution and the spectral shape of the SO emission band vary considerably across Io and over time. In some cases the SO emissions either in the core or the wings of the emission band can be identified with volcanoes, but the largest areas of SO emissions usually do not coincide with known volcanoes. We suggest that the emissions are caused by a large number of stealth plumes, produced through the interaction of silicate melts with superheated SO₂ vapor at depth. The spectra, in particular the elevated wing of the emission band near 1.69 μm, and their spatial distribution strongly suggest the presence of nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium processes in addition to the direct ejection of excited SO from the (stealth and other) volcanic vents.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
de Pater, Imke0000-0002-4278-3168
de Kleer, Katherine0000-0002-9068-3428
Ádámkovics, Máté0000-0003-1869-0938
Alternate Title:High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Observations of the Forbidden 1.707 micron Rovibronic SO Emissions on Io: Evidence for Widespread Stealth Volcanism
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2019 November 24; revised 2020 June 17; accepted 2020 June 18; published 2020 July 20. We thank Darrell Strobel for fruitful discussions regarding the interpretation of our observations. We appreciate Peter Bernath's communication pointing out his recent paper on new line lists of SO. We thank Emmanuel Lellouch and an anonymous referee for careful and detailed reviews of our manuscript, which helped improve the paper substantially. We further thank Edward Molter for reducing the NIRC2 data from 2019 April 15. Our research was supported by the National Science Foundation, NSF grant AST-1313485 to UC Berkeley. The data presented in this paper were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory. The Keck Telescopes are operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. The authors recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations of Ionian volcanoes from this Hawaiian volcano.
Errata:Imke de Pater et al 2021 Planet. Sci. J. 2 42
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Galilean satellites ; Planetary atmospheres ; Near infrared astronomy
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Galilean satellites (627); Planetary atmospheres (1244); Near infrared astronomy (1093)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200721-101801680
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Imke de Pater et al 2020 Planet. Sci. J. 1 29
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104475
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Jul 2020 17:30
Last Modified:01 Mar 2021 19:29

Repository Staff Only: item control page