Jupiter Magnetotail Interaction with a Variable Solar Wind: A 3D MHD Simulation

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Drake A Ranquist1, Fran Bagenal2, Peter A Delamere3 and Xuanye Ma3, (1)Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, United States
Jupiter’s magnetosphere is the largest object within the heliosphere. Voyager 2 detected its influence at Saturn’s orbit, 4.3 AU away. It takes considerable time, therefore, for the solar wind to propagate such lengths down the tail. This propagation time is much greater than typical periods between changes in direction of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). We expect these variable magnetic fields to create a jumbled structure in Jupiter’s magnetotail, resulting in magnetic reconnection and other magnetic processes. We simulate the global interaction of the solar wind with Jupiter’s magnetosphere using a 3D magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) code. Delamere & Bagenal (2010) argue that the interaction is largely viscous, so we simulate the jovian magnetosphere as a region where the momentum equation has an added loss term. We also use in situ data gathered by the Ulysses spacecraft near Jupiter’s orbit for solar wind input. Here, we report on the simulated dynamics in Jupiter’s tail region.