Io's Sodium Cloud (Clear and Green-Yellow Filters)
The green-yellow filter and clear filter images of Io which were released over the past two days were originally exposed on the same frame. The camera pointed in slightly different directions for the two exposures, placing a clear filter image of Io on the top half of the frame, and a green-yellow filter image of Io on the bottom half of the frame. This picture shows that entire original frame in false color, the most intense emission appearing white.
East is to the right. Most of Io's visible surface is in shadow, though one can see part of an illuminated crescent on its western side. The burst of white light near Io's eastern equatorial edge (most distinctive in the green filter image) is sunlight scattered by the plume of the volcano Prometheus.
There is much more bright light near Io in the clear filter image, since that filter's wider wavelength range admits more scattered light from Prometheus' sunlit plume and Io's illuminated crescent. Thus in the clear filter image especially, Prometheus's plume was bright enough to produce several white spikes which extend radially outward from the center of the plume emission. These spikes are artifacts produced by the optics of the camera. Two of the spikes in the clear filter image appear against Io's shadowed surface, and the lower of these is pointing towards a bright round spot. That spot corresponds to thermal emission from the volcano Pele.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.
This image and other images and data received from Galileo are posted on the World Wide Web, on the Galileo mission home page at URL http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov.