Jupiter's Dynamic Magnetosphere
Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Jupiter’s magnetosphere is a highly dynamic environment. Hundreds of reconnection events have been identified in Jupiter’s magnetotail through analysis of magnetic field and particle measurements collected by the Galileo spacecraft. Quasi-periodic behavior, suggestive of reconnection, has been intermittently observed on a ~2-3 day time scale in several data sets, including magnetic field dipolarizations, flow bursts, auroral polar dawn spots, and the hectometric radio emission. In this paper we review the present state of knowledge of Jovian magnetospheric dynamics. Throughout the discussion, we highlight similarities and differences to Saturn’s magnetosphere. For example, recent analysis of plasmoid signatures at both Jupiter and Saturn has established the role of tail reconnection in the overall mass and flux transport in the outer planet magnetospheres. The results for both Jupiter and Saturn suggest that the observed mass loss rate due to tail reconnection and plasmoid release is insufficient to account for the mass input rate from the moons Io and Enceladus, respectively. We also present new analysis in which we use the Michigan mSWiM propagated solar wind MHD model to estimate the solar wind conditions upstream of Jupiter. This information allows us to determine whether reconnection events occur preferentially during certain solar wind conditions, or whether there is evidence that the solar wind modulates the quasi-periodicity seen in the field dipolarizations and flow bursts.