Event Title

Sources of Plasma for Jupiter’s Magnetosphere

Location

Yosemite National Park

Start Date

2-13-2014 8:10 AM

End Date

2-13-2014 8:40 AM

Description

Jupiter is the archetype of a rotation-driven magnetosphere dominated by an internal source of plasma. The plasma is predominately produced by the ionization of neutral gases that spew from the volcanic moon Io. While there are observations of protons and helium ions in the magnetosphere, estimates of the sources from the planet's ionosphere and from the solar wind remain poorly constrained. Using a simple model of the plasma disk surrounding Jupiter, based on published measurements of plasma properties, we calculate radial profiles of the distribution of plasma mass, pressure, thermal energy density, kinetic energy density, and energy density of the supra-thermal ion populations. We estimate the mass outflow rate as well as the net sources and sinks of plasma. We also calculate the total energy budget of the system, estimating the total amount of energy that must be added to the system at Jupiter, though the causal processes are not understood. We find that the more extensive, massive disk of sulfur- and oxygendominated plasma requires a total input of 3-16 TW to account for the observed energy density at Jupiter.

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Feb 13th, 8:10 AM Feb 13th, 8:40 AM

Sources of Plasma for Jupiter’s Magnetosphere

Yosemite National Park

Jupiter is the archetype of a rotation-driven magnetosphere dominated by an internal source of plasma. The plasma is predominately produced by the ionization of neutral gases that spew from the volcanic moon Io. While there are observations of protons and helium ions in the magnetosphere, estimates of the sources from the planet's ionosphere and from the solar wind remain poorly constrained. Using a simple model of the plasma disk surrounding Jupiter, based on published measurements of plasma properties, we calculate radial profiles of the distribution of plasma mass, pressure, thermal energy density, kinetic energy density, and energy density of the supra-thermal ion populations. We estimate the mass outflow rate as well as the net sources and sinks of plasma. We also calculate the total energy budget of the system, estimating the total amount of energy that must be added to the system at Jupiter, though the causal processes are not understood. We find that the more extensive, massive disk of sulfur- and oxygendominated plasma requires a total input of 3-16 TW to account for the observed energy density at Jupiter.