Jupiter and Io -- Thermal-IR image 321 m
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Jupiter and Io -- Thermal-IR image (3.21 µm)

April 22, 2005
Aurorae and Volcanic Eruptions

Impressive thermal-infrared images have been obtained of the giant planet Jupiter during tests of a new detector in the ISAAC instrument on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory (Chile). .

They show in particular the full extent of the northern auroral ring and part of the southern aurora.

A volcanic eruption was also imaged on Io , the very active inner Jovian moon.

Although these observations are of an experimental nature, they demonstrate a great potential for regular monitoring of the Jovian magnetosphere by ground-based telescopes together with space-based facilities. They also provide the added benefit of direct comparison with the terrestrial magnetosphere.

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