Reference : Identification of a magnetic anomaly at Jupiter from satellite footprints
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Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Space science, astronomy & astrophysics
Identification of a magnetic anomaly at Jupiter from satellite footprints
Grodent, Denis mailto [ > > ]
[en] HST Proposal ID #10140 SOLAR SYSTEM
[en] Repeated imaging of Jupiter's aurora has shown that the northern main oval has a distorted 'kidney bean' shape in the general range of 90-140? System III longitude, which appears unchanged since 1994. While it is more difficult to observe the conjugate regions in the southern aurora, no corresponding distortion appears in the south. Recent improved accuracy in locating the satellite footprint auroral emissions has provided new information about the geometry of Jupiter's magnetic field in this and other areas. The study of the magnetic field provides us with insight into the state of matter and the dynamics deep down Jupiter. There is currently no other way to do this from orbit. The persistent pattern of the main oval implies a disturbance of the local magnetic field, and the increased latitudinal separation of the locus of satellite footprints from each other and from the main oval implies a locally weaker field strength. It is possible that these phenomena result from a magnetic anomaly in Jupiter's intrinsic magnetic field, as was proposed by A. Dessler in the 1970's. There is presently only limited evidence from the scarcity of auroral footprints observed in this longitude range. We propose to obtain HST UV images with specific observing geometries of Jupiter to determine the locations of the auroral footprints of Io, Europa, and Ganymede in cycle 13 to accurately determine the magnetic field geometry in the suggested anomaly region, and to either confirm or refute the suggestion of a local magnetic anomaly.
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