Shocking New Images of Jupiter’s Hell Moon Taken from Earth’s Surface: Science Alert

The Large binocular telescope (LBT), located on Mount Graham in Arizona and operated by the University of Arizona, is part of the next generation of Very Large Telescopes (ELTs). With two primary mirrors measuring 8.4 m (~27.5 ft), it is slightly larger than the collecting area of ​​a 30-m (98.4 ft) telescope.

With their resolution, adaptive optics and sophisticated instruments, these telescopes are expected to probe deep into the universe and provide stunning images of everything from distant galaxies to objects in our own solar system.

An international team led by the University of Arizona recently acquired images of Jupiter’s moon Io that are the highest resolution images ever taken by a ground-based telescope. The images revealed surface features just 80 km (50 mi) across, a spatial resolution previously reserved for spacecraft.

This includes NASA’s Juno mission, which has captured some Shocking pictures Volcanoes of Iowa. These images are made possible by LBT’s innovation Shark-VIS Adaptive optics system of instrument and telescope.

The team is led by Al Conrad, associate staff scientist at the University of Arizona’s Department of Astronomy, Stewart Observatory and Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO). He was joined by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Their paper, “Observation of Io’s regeneration by plume deposition using ground-based adaptive optics at visible wavelengths with LBT SHARK-VIS (GRL),” and LBT films will be released Geophysical Research Letters.

SHARK-VIS is a high-contrast optical coronary imaging instrument. INAF- Astronomical Observatory of Rome. The instrument is powered by an updated LBT ultra-adaptive optics system. A single coupled adaptive optics upgrade for LBT (Soul). To take advantage of the telescope’s excellent adaptive optics system, SHARK-NIR was installed on the LBT in 2023 along with an infrared instrument.

READ  Oceanography can contribute to the search for extraterrestrial life

Key to the instrument is its fast, ultra-low-noise „fast imaging” camera, which captures slow-motion footage that freezes optical distortions caused by atmospheric interference.

Gianluca Li Cassi, data processing manager for SHARK-VIS at the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, recently explained how it works. University of Arizona Press Release:

„We process our data in a computer to remove any trace of the sensor’s electronic footprint. We select the best frames and stitch them together using a highly efficient software package called Kraken, developed by our colleagues Douglas Hope and Stuart Jeffries at Georgia State University. Kraken allows us to remove atmospheric effects, revealing Io in incredible sharpness. .”

The SHARK-VIS image was so detailed that it allowed researchers to identify a major reactivity event around Pele, one of Io’s largest volcanoes located in the Southern Hemisphere near the equator (and named after a Hawaiian deity associated with fire and volcanoes).

Jupiter’s moon Io, imaged by SHARK-VIS on 10 January 2024. (INAF/Large Binocular Telescope Observatory/Georgia State University; IRV-band observations by SHARK-VIS/F. Pedichini; processing by D. Hope, S. Jefferies, G Li Gazi)

The image shows a plume of sediment around Pele, covered by eruptive sediments from neighboring volcano Billon Patera. NASA’s Galileo spacecraft observed a similar burst sequence while exploring the Jupiter system between 1995 and 2003. However, this is the first time that an Earth-based observatory has taken such detailed images.

Diagram of io
An artist’s impression of Io’s interior. (Kelvinsong/Wikimedia)

„We interpret the changes as dark volcanic sediments and white sulfur dioxide deposits formed from eruptions at Billon Patera that partially cover Pele’s red, sulfur-rich plume deposits,” said Ashley Davis, principal scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. .

„Before SHARK-VIS, it was impossible to observe such rebound events from Earth.”

Io is the innermost of Jupiter’s largest moons (aka. The Galilean Moons), including Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Ever since NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft flew through the Jupiter system in 1979, scientists have been fascinated by Io and its volcanic features.

READ  Sugar chains as key to advanced immunotherapy

Along with Europa and Kanymede, Io is locked in a 1:2:4 orbital vibration, where Europa completes two orbits for every orbit made by Kanymede, and Io completes four orbits.

Between its interactions with these moons and Jupiter’s powerful gravitational pull, Io’s interior is constantly churning, creating hot lava that erupts through the surface. Although telescopes take infrared images that reveal hot spots caused by eruptions, they are insufficient to reveal surface details or identify the locations of eruptions. By monitoring eruptions on Io’s surface, scientists hope to gain insights into the tidal heating mechanism responsible for Io’s intense volcanism.

„Thus, Io offers a unique opportunity to learn about the powerful explosions that helped shape Earth’s surfaces. the moon In their distant past,” Conrad said.

Such studies could help researchers understand why some planets have active volcanoes and others don’t, he said. For example, while Venus is still thought to be volcanically active, Mars has some of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System, but is dormant.

These studies may occasionally shed light on volcanic exoplanets, helping astronomers identify geological activity on distant planets (an indication of habitability).

SHARK-VIS instrument scientist Simone Antonucci expects to enable new observations of objects throughout the Solar System with uniform sharpness, revealing all kinds of features otherwise required by the spacecraft.

„SHARK-VIS’s sharp vision is well suited for observing the surfaces of many solar system bodies, not only the moons of giant planets, but also asteroids,” he said.

„With the data currently being analyzed, we have already observed some of them and plan to observe more.”

READ  Looking for the decay of nature's rarest isotope: tantalum-180m

This article was originally published Universe Today. Read on Original article.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *