The SwRI-led Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS) orbiting Jupiter aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft has detected new faint aurora options, characterised by ring-like emissions, which increase quickly over time. SwRI scientists decided that charged particles coming from the sting of Jupiter’s large magnetosphere triggered these auroral emissions.
“We expect these newly found faint ultraviolet options originate thousands and thousands of miles away from Jupiter, close to the Jovian magnetosphere’s boundary with the photo voltaic wind,” stated Dr. Vincent Hue, lead writer of a paper accepted by the Journal of Geophysical Analysis: House Physics. “The photo voltaic wind is a supersonic stream of charged particles emitted by the Solar. Once they attain Jupiter, they work together with its magnetosphere in a method that’s nonetheless not effectively understood.”
Each Jupiter and Earth have magnetic fields that present safety from the photo voltaic wind. The stronger the magnetic discipline, the bigger the magnetosphere. Jupiter’s magnetic discipline is 20,000 occasions stronger than Earth’s and creates a magnetosphere so giant it begins to deflect the photo voltaic wind 2-4 million miles earlier than it reaches Jupiter.
“Regardless of many years of observations from Earth mixed with quite a few in-situ spacecraft measurements, scientists nonetheless don’t absolutely perceive the position the photo voltaic wind performs in moderating Jupiter’s auroral emissions,” stated SwRI’s Dr. Thomas Greathouse, a co-author on this research. “Jupiter’s magnetospheric dynamics, the movement of charged particles inside its magnetosphere, is basically managed by Jupiter’s 10-hour rotation, the quickest within the photo voltaic system. The photo voltaic wind’s position remains to be debated.”
One of many objectives of the Juno mission, lately authorized by NASA for an extension till 2025, is to discover Jupiter’s magnetosphere by measuring its auroras with the UVS instrument. Earlier observations with the Hubble House Telescope and Juno have allowed scientists to find out that almost all of Jupiter’s highly effective auroras are generated by inner processes, that’s the movement of charged particles throughout the magnetosphere. Nonetheless, on quite a few events, UVS has detected a faint kind of aurora, characterised by rings of emissions increasing quickly with time.
“The high-latitude location of the rings signifies that the particles inflicting the emissions are coming from the distant Jovian magnetosphere, close to its boundary with the photo voltaic wind,” stated Bertrand Bonfond, a co-author on this research from Belgium’s Liege College. On this area, plasma from the photo voltaic wind typically interacts with the Jovian plasma in a method that’s thought to kind “Kelvin-Helmholtz” instabilities.
These phenomena happen when there are shear velocities, equivalent to on the interface between two fluids shifting at completely different speeds. One other potential candidate to supply the rings are dayside magnetic reconnection occasions, the place oppositely directed Jovian and interplanetary magnetic fields converge, rearrange and reconnect.
Each of those processes are thought to generate particle beams that might journey alongside the Jovian magnetic discipline traces, to ultimately precipitate and set off the ring auroras on Jupiter.
“Though this research doesn’t conclude what processes produce these options, the Juno prolonged mission will permit us to seize and research extra of those faint transient occasions,” Hue stated.
Southwest Analysis Institute
The million outer planets of a star known as Sol
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SwRI scientists assist determine the primary stratospheric winds measured on Jupiter
San Antonio TX (SPX) Mar 19, 2021
Working with a group led by French astronomers, Southwest Analysis Institute scientists helped determine extremely highly effective winds in Jupiter’s center ambiance for the primary time. The group measured molecules exhumed by the 1994 affect of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 to hint winds in extra of 900 miles per hour close to Jupiter’s poles.
Jupiter’s distinctive crimson and white bands of swirling clouds permit scientists to trace winds within the planet’s decrease ambiance, and the SwRI group members have explicit exp … learn extra