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Investigating Io’s Tvashtar Plume: DSMC Simulations, Mie Theory Analysis, and Implications for Entrained Particulate Properties.

Presentation #111.03 in the session Io (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Investigating Io’s Tvashtar Plume: DSMC Simulations, Mie Theory Analysis, and Implications for Entrained Particulate Properties.

En route to Pluto in 2007, the New Horizons (NH) spacecraft did a 3 – 4-day flyby of the Jovian system where it observed Jupiter and many of its moons (Rathbun et al., 2014). The Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and Multispectral Visible imaging Camera (MVIC) both onboard NH observed an unexplained increase by over an order of magnitude in the brightness of Tvashtar’s canopy, a Pele-type volcano on Io (Trafton et al., 2018). We construct 2-D axisymmetric two-phase, two-way coupled Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) simulations (Bird, 1994) of Tvashtar’s plume consisting of SO2 gas and basalt grains with the same particle size distribution (McDoniel et al., 2015) used to model Pele’s plume. We compute column densities of gas and grains and we generate images to compare the overall structure (height and width) of our simulated plume with the actual NH images (Adeloye et al., 2023). We find an acceptable agreement for input vent conditions of 100,000 kg/s mass flow rate, 30 km2 vent area, 1250 K vent stagnation temperature and a 5% grain mass loading. Then, we employ Mie theory (Mätzler, 2002) to analyze the interaction of incident light with dust particles in Io’s Tvashtar plume, considering a range of dust sizes and wavelengths that span the observing instrumentation bandwidth. By modeling the scattering and absorption properties of the two-phase plume and canopy, we aim to understand the impact of dust size, wavelength, and viewing geometry on the observed characteristics such as the measured brightness of the plume.

This work was supported by NASA Grant 80NSSC21K0830 of the New Frontiers Data Analysis Program. We thank the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) for providing computing resources.

Reference:

  1. Rathbun, J. A., et al Icarus 231 (2014): 261-272.

  2. Trafton, L. M., et al AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts# 50. Vol. 50. 2018.

  3. Bird, G.A. 1994. Molecular Gas Dynamics and the Direct Simulation of Gas Flows. Oxford University Press, London.

  4. McDoniel, W. J., et al Icarus 257 (2015): 251-274.

  5. Adeloye, A. O., et al Lunar and Planetary Sci. Conf., The Woodlands, TX; Mar. 2023.

  6. Mätzler, Christian. “MATLAB functions for Mie scattering and absorption, version 2.” (2002).

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