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See detailAuroral emission at Jupiter, through Juno's UVS eyes
Grodent, Denis ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Gladstone, G. et al

Conference (2015, June 02)

Juno’s orbit insertion around Jupiter will take place in little bit more than one year (July 2016). After a 107-day capture orbit (Oct. 2016), it will perform a series of 33 eleven-day science polar ... [more ▼]

Juno’s orbit insertion around Jupiter will take place in little bit more than one year (July 2016). After a 107-day capture orbit (Oct. 2016), it will perform a series of 33 eleven-day science polar orbits offering unprecedented views of the auroral regions of Jupiter. The science payload of Juno includes an UltraViolet Spectrograph (UVS) that will characterize the UV auroral emissions of Jupiter over all science orbits. It will obtain high-resolution images and spectra that will provide context for Juno’s in situ particles and fields measurements in the larger polar magnetosphere with Juno’s JADE and JEDI detectors. At the same time, the MAG instrument will accurately constrain magnetic field models, which will provide the connection between Juno and its field line footprint in the Jovian aurora. The UVS instrument consists of a solar blind MCP detector with a “dog-bone” shape FOV of 0.2°x2.5°+0.025°x2°+0.2°x2.5° providing a spatial resolution of 125 km from 1RJ above the aurora and a spectral resolution of ~0.5 nm (~2 nm for extended sources). It is sensitive to EUV-FUV radiation ranging from 70 nm to 205 nm. Juno is a spin-stabilized spacecraft and is rotating at a frequency of 2 RPM. UVS will take advantage of this motion to scan the auroral regions in the direction perpendicular to the slit, while its steerable pickup mirror (±30° from the spin plane) will make it possible to point at specific regions of the aurora. Juno’s highly eccentric science orbits have a perijove close to 1.05 RJ (~5000 km above cloud deck) and an apojove at ~38 RJ. These orbits approximately lie in the Dawn meridian plane and are such that each successive pass is at a Jovian longitude displaced by 204° from the previous perijove. At perijove, Juno’s velocity will be ~60 km/s and about 20 km/s above the poles, meaning that the spacecraft will move over the northern and southern auroral regions in approximately two hours. In this study, we are using existing HST STIS time-tag sequences of Jupiter’s UV aurorae in order to simulate the expected measurements through UVS FOV along Juno’s predicted trajectory. The simulations account for realistic instrumental specifications and pointing and for the temporal and spatial variability of the aurora. We show the results of image reconstruction obtained from scanning the auroral region with UVS slit and provide some limits on the expected data quality as a function of the location of Juno along its orbit. We also suggest portions of the science orbits for which supporting HST observations will be necessary. [less ▲]

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See detailMagnetosphere-ionosphere mapping at Jupiter: Quantifying the effects of using different internal field models
Vogt, Marissa F.; Bunce, Emma J.; Kivelson, Margaret G. et al

Conference (2015, June)

The lack of global field models accurate beyond the inner magnetosphere (< 30 RJ) makes it difficult to relate Jupiter’s polar auroral features to magnetospheric source regions. Vogt et al. [2011] map ... [more ▼]

The lack of global field models accurate beyond the inner magnetosphere (< 30 RJ) makes it difficult to relate Jupiter’s polar auroral features to magnetospheric source regions. Vogt et al. [2011] map Jupiter’s equatorial magnetosphere to the ionosphere using a flux equivalence calculation that requires equal flux at the equatorial and ionospheric ends of flux tubes. This approach is more accurate than tracing field lines in a global field model, but only if it is based on an accurate model of Jupiter’s internal field. At present there are three widely used internal field models – VIP4, the Grodent anomaly model (GAM), and VIPAL. We will present results of a recently published study that quantifies how the choice of an internal field model affects the mapping of various auroral features using the Vogt et al. [2011] flux equivalence calculation. We find that different internal field models can shift the ionospheric mapping of points in the equatorial plane by several degrees and shift the magnetospheric mapping to the equator by ~30 Jovian radii radially and by less than one hour in local time. These shifts are consistent with differences in how well each model maps the Ganymede footprint, underscoring the need for more accurate Jovian internal field models. Understanding these differences is important for the continued analysis of HST images and in planning for Juno’s arrival at Jupiter in 2016. We will discuss differences in the size and location of the open/closed field line boundary and the mapping of specific auroral features, like polar dawn spots. We will also present some new analysis of the mapping of Jupiter’s main auroral oval and relate this to temporal variability observed in Jupiter’s magnetodisk. [less ▲]

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See detailSearch for Satellite Effects on Saturn's Auroras in Cassini UVIS Data
Pryor, Wayne; Espositio, Larry; Jouchoux, Alain et al

Poster (2015, June)

The Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) has been obtaining Saturn auroral images since 2004. We have previously reported instances when the main auroral oval brightened briefly in a quasi ... [more ▼]

The Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) has been obtaining Saturn auroral images since 2004. We have previously reported instances when the main auroral oval brightened briefly in a quasi-periodic fashion near the sub-Mimas longitude. Here we examine the large set of UVIS auroral images obtained from close range and high sub-spacecraft latitudes. We will plot the brightness of the individual auroral measurements (and binned auroral measurements) as a function of local time, and as a function of the location of Mimas and other moons to test for any correlations. Mimas, while a relatively small moon, exerts a strong influence on Saturn's ring system. Mimas creates the Cassini Division between the A and B rings and forces a non-circular shape to the outer edge of Saturn's B ring that is partially locked to Mimas phase. [less ▲]

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See detailJupiter's equatorward auroral features
Dumont, Maïté ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Radioti, Aikaterini ULg et al

Conference (2015, May 13)

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See detailMagnetosphere-ionosphere mapping at Jupiter: Quantifying the effects of using different internal field models
Vogt, Marissa; Bunce, Emma; Kivelson, Margaret et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics (2015), 120

The lack of global field models accurate beyond the inner magnetosphere (<30 RJ) makes it difficult to relate Jupiter's polar auroral features to magnetospheric source regions. We recently developed a ... [more ▼]

The lack of global field models accurate beyond the inner magnetosphere (<30 RJ) makes it difficult to relate Jupiter's polar auroral features to magnetospheric source regions. We recently developed a model that maps Jupiter's equatorial magnetosphere to the ionosphere using a flux equivalence calculation that requires equal flux at the equatorial and ionospheric ends of flux tubes. This approach is more accurate than tracing field lines in a global field model but only if it is based on an accurate model of Jupiter's internal field. At present there are three widely used internal field models—Voyager Io Pioneer 4 (VIP4), the Grodent Anomaly Model (GAM), and VIP Anomaly Longitude (VIPAL). The purpose of this study is to quantify how the choice of an internal field model affects the mapping of various auroral features using the flux equivalence calculation. We find that different internal field models can shift the ionospheric mapping of points in the equatorial plane by several degrees and shift the magnetospheric mapping to the equator by ~30 RJ radially and by less than 1 h in local time. These shifts are consistent with differences in how well each model maps the Ganymede footprint, underscoring the need for more accurate Jovian internal field models. We discuss differences in the mapping of specific auroral features and the size and location of the open/closed field line boundary. Understanding these differences is important for the continued analysis of Hubble Space Telescope images and in planning for Juno's arrival at Jupiter in 2016. [less ▲]

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See detailThe EChO science case
Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2015), 1502

The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general ... [more ▼]

The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need addressing are therefore: What are exoplanets made of? Why are planets as they are? What causes the exceptional diversity observed as compared to the Solar System? EChO (Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory) has been designed as a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large and diverse planet sample within its four-year mission lifetime. EChO can target the atmospheres of super-Earths, Neptune-like, and Jupiter-like planets, in the very hot to temperate zones (planet temperatures of 300K-3000K) of F to M-type host stars. Over the next ten years, several new ground- and space-based transit surveys will come on-line (e.g. NGTS, CHEOPS, TESS, PLATO), which will specifically focus on finding bright, nearby systems. The current rapid rate of discovery would allow the target list to be further optimised in the years prior to EChO's launch and enable the atmospheric characterisation of hundreds of planets. Placing the satellite at L2 provides a cold and stable thermal environment, as well as a large field of regard to allow efficient time-critical observation of targets randomly distributed over the sky. A 1m class telescope is sufficiently large to achieve the necessary spectro-photometric precision. The spectral coverage (0.5-11 micron, goal 16 micron) and SNR to be achieved by EChO, thanks to its high stability and dedicated design, would enable a very accurate measurement of the atmospheric composition and structure of hundreds of exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailIn Overview of the Auroras of Jupiter and Saturn from the Cassini Perspective (Invited)
Pryor; Esposito; Jouchoux et al

Conference (2015)

The Cassini spacecraft flew by Jupiter in late 2000 and early 2001 and has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. A highlight of the mission has been an unprecedented collection of high-resolution auroral ... [more ▼]

The Cassini spacecraft flew by Jupiter in late 2000 and early 2001 and has been orbiting Saturn since 2004. A highlight of the mission has been an unprecedented collection of high-resolution auroral images of Saturn obtained in the visible by Cassini ISS, in the infrared by Cassini VIMS, and in the ultraviolet by Cassini UVIS. We will briefly discuss auroral observations of Jupiter by Cassini showing auroral storms and episodes of periodic pulsations, then highlights from the large database of Saturn auroral images and movies, and complementary fields and particles data. Complementary and sometimes simultaneous HST images will also be shown. Saturn's auroras exhibit a wide variety of changing forms. At times multiple narrow arcs are seen, at other times a single broader emission is seen. The polar cap inside the oval exhibits changing discrete forms, often near noon local time in the polar cusp region. Satellite footprints associated with Enceladus are very rarely seen. Bright auroral pulsations on the main oval sometimes occur, separated by about an hour. At times these seem associated with the moon Mimas, occurring at the sub-Mimas longitude and moving with the moon. We indicate a possible mechanism for this, involving Mimas control of the width of the Cassini Division, which forms a channel for plasma flow connecting Saturn's rings and/or flowing through Saturn's rings. [less ▲]

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See detailAuroral spirals at Saturn
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics (2015)

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See detailConcurrent observations of ultraviolet aurora and energetic electron precipitation with Mars Express
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Libert, Ludivine ULg et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics (2015)

The database of the Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) instrument between late January 2004 and Mars 2014 has been searched to identify signatures ... [more ▼]

The database of the Spectroscopy for the Investigation of the Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Mars (SPICAM) instrument between late January 2004 and Mars 2014 has been searched to identify signatures of CO Cameron and CO<inf>2</inf>+ doublet ultraviolet auroral emissions. This study has almost doubled the number of auroral detections based on SPICAM spectra. Auroral emissions are located in the vicinity of the statistical boundary between open and closed field lines. From a total of 113 nightside orbits with SPICAM pointing to the nadir in the region of residual magnetic field, only nine nightside orbits show confirmed auroral signatures, some with multiple detections along the orbital track, leading to a total of 16 detections. The mean energy of the electron energy spectra measured during concurrent Analyzer of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms/Electron Spectrometer observations ranges from 150 to 280eV. The ultraviolet aurora may be displaced poleward or equatorward of the region of enhanced downward electron energy flux by several tens of seconds and shows no proportionality with the electron flux at the spacecraft altitude. The absence of further UV auroral detection in regions located along crustal magnetic field structures where occasional aurora has been observed indicates that the Mars aurora is a time-dependent feature. These results are consistent with the scenario of acceleration of electrons by transient parallel electric field along semiopen magnetic field lines. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailIn-situ & remote sensing studies of outer planet aurora
Badman, S.V.; Baines, K.H.; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg et al

Conference (2015)

The combination of in situ and remote sensing measurements of auroral processes has yielded a wealth of information about solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling at the giant planets. Results from ... [more ▼]

The combination of in situ and remote sensing measurements of auroral processes has yielded a wealth of information about solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling at the giant planets. Results from the 2014 joint HST-Cassini Saturn auroral campaign are highlighted to demonstrate some of the interesting features observed in situ and their auroral counterparts, including: (1) perturbations on tens of minutes timescales in the high latitude ion fluxes, magnetic field, broadband plasma waves, and auroral intensity; (2) corotating auroral intensifications and their correspondence with models of the planetary period oscillations based on magnetic field perturbations; and (3) sub-corotating auroral features and their relationship to ring current enhancements observed in Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) observations [less ▲]

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See detailAuroral spirals at Saturn
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2015)

We report Cassini/UVIS observations of auroral vortices at Saturn propagating from midnight to noon via dawn. The emission in the dawn auroral sector is observed to consist of several detached features ... [more ▼]

We report Cassini/UVIS observations of auroral vortices at Saturn propagating from midnight to noon via dawn. The emission in the dawn auroral sector is observed to consist of several detached features that swirl with time. They have a diameter of 6000 km in the ionosphere, which would correspond to plasma vortices in the magnetosphere of 12 to 15 Rs. ENA enhancements are observed simultaneously. However, they do not show any clear vortices. We estimate the velocity of the UV auroral feature to decrease from 85% of rigid corotation (28o/h) in the most equatorward part of the aurora to 68% of rigid corotation (22o/h) in the poleward part and we demonstrate that such velocity gradient could result in swirling auroral features. Particle velocities derived from magnetospheric data in previous studies, confirm large variations of the corotation fraction as a function of radial distance. We suggest that the auroral vortices could be the ionospheric footprints of hot dynamic populations containing strong velocity gradients. Alternatively, we consider another scenario that could generate auroral vortices based on field line deformation from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere, like it is proposed for the Earth. In that case the auroral spiral is the result of some processes that occurred in the transition region between the centers of vortices where strong shear flows existed. Finally, a third possibility is considered, according to which the auroral vortices reported here are the direct optical signatures of the plasma vortical flows in the magnetopause related to Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. However, this might be less possible due to the very different spatial scales of the auroral features (12-15 Rs) and the observed plasma vortices in the magnetopause (1 Rs). [less ▲]

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See detailA multi-scale magnetotail reconnection event at Saturn and associated flows: Cassini/UVIS auroral observations
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Jia, X. et al

Conference (2015)

We present high-resolution Cassini/UVIS (Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph) observations of Saturn's aurora during May 2013 (DOY 140-141). The observations reveal an enhanced auroral activity in the ... [more ▼]

We present high-resolution Cassini/UVIS (Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph) observations of Saturn's aurora during May 2013 (DOY 140-141). The observations reveal an enhanced auroral activity in the midnight-dawn quadrant in an extended local time sector (~02 to 05 LT), which rotates with an average velocity of ~ 45% of rigid corotation. The auroral dawn enhancement reported here, given its observed location and brightness, is most probably due to hot tenuous plasma carried inward in fast moving flux tubes returning from a tail reconnection site to the dayside. These flux tubes could generate intense field-aligned currents that would cause aurora to brighten. However, the origin of tail reconnection (solar wind or internally driven) is uncertain. Based mainly on the flux variations, which do not demonstrate flux closure, we suggest that the most plausible scenario is that of internally driven tail reconnection which operates on closed field lines. The observations also reveal multiple intensifications within the enhanced region suggesting an x-line in the tail, which extends from 02 to 05 LT. The localised enhancements evolve in arc and spot-like small scale features, which resemble vortices mainly in the beginning of the sequence. These auroral features could be related to plasma flows enhanced from reconnection which diverge into multiple narrow channels then spread azimuthally and radially. We suggest that the evolution of tail reconnection at Saturn may be pictured by an ensemble of numerous narrow current wedges or that inward transport initiated in the reconnection region could be explained by multiple localised flow burst events. The formation of vortical-like structures could then be related to field-aligned currents, building up in vortical flows in the tail. An alternative, but less plausible, scenario could be that the small scale auroral structures are related to viscous interactions involving small-scale reconnection. [less ▲]

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See detailBridging Space Weather to Planetary Environments
Plainaki; Milillo; Andriopoulou et al

Conference (2015)

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See detailTransient small-scale structure in the main auroral emission at Jupiter
Palmaerts, Benjamin ULg; Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics (2014), 119

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See detailSolar Wind Interaction with the Magnetosphere of Jupiter : Impact on the Magnetopause and the Aurorae
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2014, November 20)

The outcome of the interaction between the solar wind and the Jovian magnetic field bears many differences compared to the Earth's case. At Earth, the solar wind is the major particle and energy source in ... [more ▼]

The outcome of the interaction between the solar wind and the Jovian magnetic field bears many differences compared to the Earth's case. At Earth, the solar wind is the major particle and energy source in the magnetosphere. At Jupiter, the tremendous volcanism on the moon Io is the main plasma source and Jupiter's rapid rotation (relative to its size) is the main energy source for the particles populating its magnetosphere. Combined with a weaker solar wind pressure and a larger Alfvén Mach number as the distance from the Sun increases, all these parameters modify the relative importance of large scale Dungey reconnection and viscous interaction at the magnetopause. In order to study these differences, here we present a statistical analysis of magnetopause waves and flux tube event on the Jovian magnetopause, based on in-situ measurement from the spacecraft that flew-by or orbited around Jupiter. Moreover, variations of the solar wind have significant impact on the Jovian magnetospheric current systems and such changes reflect on the aurora. In this presentation, we will also review the recent findings concerning the aurora at Jupiter and their relationship with the solar wind. [less ▲]

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See detailSearch for Satellite Effects on Saturn's Auroras in Cassini UVIS Data
Pryor, Wayne R.; Esposito, Larry; Jouchoux, Alain et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2014, November 01)

The Cassini UVIS has been obtaining Saturn auroral images since 2004. We have previously reported instances when the main auroral oval brightened briefly in a quasi-periodic fashion near the sub-Mimas ... [more ▼]

The Cassini UVIS has been obtaining Saturn auroral images since 2004. We have previously reported instances when the main auroral oval brightened briefly in a quasi-periodic fashion near the sub-Mimas longitude. Here we examine the large set of auroral images obtained from close range and high sub-spacecraft latitudes. We will plot the brightness of the individual auroral measurements as a function of local time, and as a function of the location of Mimas and other moons to test for any correlations. [less ▲]

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See detailSpace Weather at Saturn - Auroral observations
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2014, November)

Unlike to Earth, Saturn is a fast rotator and its magnetosphere is dominated by fast planetary rotation and internally driven processes. However, the interaction of the solar wind with Saturn’s ... [more ▼]

Unlike to Earth, Saturn is a fast rotator and its magnetosphere is dominated by fast planetary rotation and internally driven processes. However, the interaction of the solar wind with Saturn’s magnetosphere is not negligible and it is manifested among others in the auroral region. The interplanetary magnetic field reconnects with the dayside magnetopause at Saturn and results in enhancements in the auroral emission accompanied by entry of significant amount of open flux in the magnetosphere. The solar wind affects also the nightside magnetosphere. Dramatic enhancements of the nightside-dawn auroral emissions have been attributed to solar wind-induced auroral storms. Additionally, recent auroral observations revealed the presence of a transpolar arc at Saturn, one of the most spectacular auroral features at Earth, which could be possibly related to solar wind driven tail reconnection. Finally, there is evidence of viscous interaction of the solar wind with Saturn’s magnetosphere, which involves magnetic reconnection on a small scale. [less ▲]

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See detailMapping the electron energy in Jupiter’s aurora: Hubble spectral observations
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics (2014), 119

Far ultraviolet spectral observations have been made with the Hubble Space Telescope in the time-tag mode using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) long slit. The telescope was slewed in such ... [more ▼]

Far ultraviolet spectral observations have been made with the Hubble Space Telescope in the time-tag mode using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) long slit. The telescope was slewed in such a way that the slit projection scanned from above the polar limb down to midlatitudes, allowing us to build up the first spectral maps of the FUV Jovian aurora. The shorter wavelengths are partly absorbed by the methane layer overlying part of the auroral emission layer. The long-wavelength intensity directly reflects the precipitated energy flux carried by the auroral electrons. Maps of the intensity ratio of the two spectral regions have been obtained by combining spectral emissions in two wavelength ranges. They show that the amount of absorption by methane varies significantly between the different components of the aurora and inside the main emission region. Some of the polar emissions are associated with the hardest precipitation, although the auroral regions of strong electron precipitation do not necessarily coincide with the highest electron energies. Outputs from an electron transport model are used to create maps of the distribution of the characteristic electron energies. Using model atmospheres adapted to auroral conditions, we conclude that electron energies range between a few tens to several hundred keV. Comparisons of derived energies are in general agreement with those calculated from magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling models, with values locally exceeding the standard model predictions. These results will provide useful input for three-dimensional modeling of the distribution of particle heat sources into the high-latitude Jovian upper atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailJupiter’s magnetopause: A search for wave and reconnection signatures
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Kivelson, M. G.; Khurana, K. K. et al

Conference (2014, September 12)

Surface waves and magnetic reconnection are two key processes taking place at the planetary magnetopause. They allow the coupling, through energy (and particle) transfer, of the interplanetary medium and ... [more ▼]

Surface waves and magnetic reconnection are two key processes taking place at the planetary magnetopause. They allow the coupling, through energy (and particle) transfer, of the interplanetary medium and the magnetosphere. The relative importance of large scale Dungey reconnection and viscous interaction (including small-scale intermittent reconnection associated with Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices) are expected to be different at Jupiter compared to the Earth’s case. Such differences would be due to the combination of a) a weaker solar wind pressure and Alfvén velocity as the distance to the Sun increases, b) a high-β plasma sheet, originating from Io’s outgassing, which inflates the Jovian magnetosphere, c) the rapid rotation of the planet relative to its size (e.g. Desroche et al. 2012). Here we analyse the signatures of wave activity and reconnection on the magnetopause of Jupiter, based on magnetic field and energetic particle measurements from the successive spacecraft that explored the Jovian system. Up to now, 7 spacecraft equipped with a magnetometer have crossed the Jovian magnetopause: Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Ulysses, Galileo and Cassini. We make use of several normal direction finding techniques, such as the Minimum Variance Analysis, in order to identify waves and Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices. As far as the reconnection is concerned, small scale signatures of flux-tube events (FTEs) had been identified by Walker and Russell (1985), based on a limited data-set from the Pioneers’ and Voyagers’ fly-bys. Here we will extend this search to the extensive dataset from all the missions that explored Jupiter’s system. [less ▲]

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