The arrival of the Juno satellite at Jupiter has led to an increased interest in the dynamics of the Jovian magnetosphere. Jupiter's auroral emissions often exhibit quasiperiodic oscillations with periods of tens of minutes. Magnetic observations indicate that ultralow‐frequency (ULF) waves with similar periods are often seen in data from Galileo and other satellites traversing the Jovian magnetosphere. Such waves can be associated with field line resonances, which are standing shear Alfvén waves on the field lines. Using model magnetic fields and plasma distributions, the frequencies of field line resonances and their harmonics on field lines connecting to the main auroral oval have been determined. Time domain simulations of Alfvén wave propagation have illustrated the evolution of such resonances. These studies indicate that harmonics of the field line resonances are common in the 10–40 min band.
The ionospheric Alfvén resonator (IAR) is a structure formed by the rapid decrease in the plasma density above a planetary ionosphere. This results in a corresponding increase in the Alfvén speed that can provide partial reflection of Alfvén waves. At Earth, the IAR on auroral field lines is associated with the broadband acceleration of auroral particles, sometimes termed the Alfvénic aurora. This arises since phase mixing in the IAR reduces the perpendicular wavelength of the Alfvén waves, which enhances the parallel electric field due to electron inertia. This parallel electric field fluctuates at frequencies of 0.1–20.0 Hz, comparable to the electron transit time through the acceleration region, leading to the broadband acceleration. The prevalence of such broadband acceleration at Jupiter suggests that a similar process can occur in the Jovian IAR. A numerical model of Alfvén wave propagation in the Jovian IAR has been developed to investigate these interactions, indicating that the IAR resonant frequencies are in the same range as those at Earth. This model describes the evolution of the electric and magnetic fields in the low‐altitude region close to Jupiter that is sampled during Juno's perijove passes. In particular, the model relates measurement of magnetic fields below the ion cyclotron frequency from the MAG and Waves instruments on Juno and electric fields from Waves to the associated parallel electric fields that can accelerate auroral particles.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Ultra-Low-Frequency (ULF) waves provide a means for the rapid propagation of energy and field-aligned current in planetary magnetospheres. At Earth, the ULF frequency range is usually defined as including waves with periods of 0.2–600 s; however, at Jupiter these waves can extend to periods of tens of minutes. In both magnetospheres, shear mode Alfvén waves can form field line resonances that exist between the ionospheres, with periods of a few minutes at Earth and a few tens of minutes at Jupiter. A major distinction between these two magnetospheres is in the density distribution. Earth has a dense ionosphere full of heavy ions, an extended, cold plasmasphere and a relatively low-density plasma sheet. In contrast, at Jupiter, the ionosphere is largely hydrogen (both in atomic form and in the H 3 + molecular ion), there is no appreciable plasmasphere and the plasma disk is dense and populated with heavy ions (largely sulfur and oxygen) originating at the moon Io and to some extent from other moons. As at Earth, the sharp Alfvén speed gradient above the ionosphere forms an ionospheric Alfvén resonator at Jupiter with periods of seconds. Furthermore, the high-latitude lobes at Jupiter have very low density and a resonant structure can be formed by waves bouncing between the ionosphere and the dense plasma disk. This structure leads to periods of tens of seconds. Finally, the dense Io plasma torus and plasma sheet provide conditions for compressional cavity modes to form in this region. Thus, the structure of the field line resonance modes is quite different at the two planets. Implications of these resonances on auroral particle acceleration will be discussed.more » « less
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