The structure of Io's corona

N. M. Schneider, D. M. Hunten, W. K. Wells, A. B. Schultz, U. Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


A spatial profile of the distribution of sodium in Io's corona has been constructed using measurements obtained during satellite mutual eclipses. The data reveal a fairly symmetric corona whose density falls steeply from the surface out to 6 rIo and more slowly outside. An upper limit of 700 km is placed on the exobase altitude, but the observations do not constrain the surface density. Several theoretical models adequately match some traits of the corona, but none satisfies all the observations. No strong upstream/downstream asymmetry of the corona is observed, so it is unlikely that the corona is primarily generated by the impact of corotating ions into the trailing hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-315
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 1991


  • Planets: Jupiter
  • Planets: satellites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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