The effect of H3+ cooling on jovian thermospheric energy and momentum balance

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Licia C Ray, Nicholas A Achilleos and Steve Miller, University College London, London, United Kingdom
When the Galileo probe entered Jupiter’s equatorial atmosphere, it measured thermospheric exobase temperatures of ~900 K, 700 K higher than what was expected from solar EUV heating. Therefore, there is an ‘energy crisis’ at Jupiter, in which a large source of equatorial heating is unaccounted for. A prime candidate to explain the high temperatures is the transport of auroral energy equatorwards from high latitudes. However, the combination of strong Coriolis forces from the rapid planetary rotation rate, coupled with ion drag from magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, results in an ‘ion drag fridge’ effect (Smith et al., 2007), which acts to transport auroral energy poleward, rather than equatorward. We modify the UCL JASMIN model (Jovian Axisymmetric Simulator with Magnetosphere, Ionosphere, and Neutrals) to include the effects of auroral heating and H3+ cooling. Thus far, auroral heating and H3+ cooling were neglected in dynamical models of the coupled thermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere system, in order to focus on the effects of joule heating and ion drag on the jovian thermosphere. We explore how including these heating and cooling terms alters the energy and momentum balance, and subsequently meridional transport through Jupiter’s thermosphere.