Reference : A pulsating auroral X-ray hot spot on Jupiter
Scientific journals : Article
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
A pulsating auroral X-ray hot spot on Jupiter
Gladstone, G. R. [> > > >]
Waite, J. H. [> > > >]
Grodent, Denis mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département d'astrophys., géophysique et océanographie (AGO) > Labo de physique atmosphérique et planétaire (LPAP) >]
Lewis, W. S. [> > > >]
Crary, F. J. [> > > >]
Elsner, Ronald F. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center]
Weisskopf, M. C. [> > > >]
Majeed, T. [> > > >]
Jahn, J. M. [> > > >]
Bhardwaj, A. [> > > >]
Clarke, J. T. [> > > >]
Young, David T. [> > > >]
Dougherty, Michele K. [Imperial College of Science and Technology (London) > Blackett Laboratory >]
Espinosa, S. A. [> > > >]
Cravens, T. E. [> > > >]
Nature Publishing Group
Yes (verified by ORBi)
United Kingdom
[en] Jupiter's X-ray aurora has been thought to be excited by energetic sulphur and oxygen ions precipitating from the inner magnetosphere into the planet's polar regions(1-3). Here we report high-spatial-resolution observations that demonstrate that most of Jupiter's northern auroral X-rays come from a 'hot spot' located significantly poleward of the latitudes connected to the inner magnetosphere. The hot spot seems to be fixed in magnetic latitude and longitude and occurs in a region where anomalous infrared(4-7) and ultraviolet(8) emissions have also been observed. We infer from the data that the particles that excite the aurora originate in the outer magnetosphere. The hot spot X-rays pulsate with an approximately 45-min period, a period similar to that reported for high-latitude radio and energetic electron bursts observed by near-Jupiter spacecraft(9,10). These results invalidate the idea that jovian auroral X-ray emissions are mainly excited by steady precipitation of energetic heavy ions from the inner magnetosphere. Instead, the X-rays seem to result from currently unexplained processes in the outer magnetosphere that produce highly localized and highly variable emissions over an extremely wide range of wavelengths.
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