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New Observatory to Study Volcanic Activity on Io

jeff with new telescope
PSI Senior Scientist Jeff Morgenthaler set up a new observatory near Tucson to use changes in volcanic activity on Io to measure properties of Jupiter’s magnetosphere. A major goal of the project is to learn why ionized material from Io sticks close to Jupiter, rather than being flung out by Jupiter’s rapid rotation.  
The Io Input/Output observatory (IoIO) uses a very bright emission line of neutral sodium to monitor material leaving Io and entering Jupiter’s magnetosphere.  A bright emission line of ionized sulfur is used to monitor material in Jupiter’s magnetosphere.  The bright, extended nature of these emissions make them easily accessible to small-aperture telescopes developed for the high-end amateur astronomy market.

The IoIO is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the Planetary Science Institute.

Above, Jeff Morgenthaler poses with the telescope in its new home. 
Below, the telescope is set up to be operated remotely.
new scope
Below, the Southern Arizona site where the IoIO observatory is located. 
site of new scope
May 29, 2017
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