Jupiter is not only the largest planet in the solar system, but is also responsible for having the largest and strongest magnetic field, which interacts with the moons around it. Io, the nearest moon, releases a huge amount of material into space, which interacts with this field – this dynamic creates a source of radio emission, first observed in 1995. Now, thanks to Juno probe, a group of researchers has been able to pinpoint the exact location from which these marks originate.
Jupiter’s magnetic field is about 20,000 times greater than our planet’s, and is an integral part of Io, the young moon with the largest volcanic activity ever recorded in the entire Solar System. A natural satellite finds itself in a kind of gravitational pull – on the one hand, it is attracted by the gravity of the giant gas, and on the other, it is attracted by its neighbors – Responsible for keeping the lunar core active Thus, volcanoes feed on its surface.
a Volcanic activity on Io It releases about a ton of gases and particles per second into near space. Electrically charged ions and electrons from this material are quickly captured by Jupiter’s large magnetic field and “rain” at the planet’s poles. But along the way, these electrons generate radio waves called decimal radio emissions (DAM). And the Juno Wave instrument was able to “hear” this rain.
Using data from Juno Waves, researchers have determined the exact locations of this radio emission source in general magnetic field Jupiter. These places have ideal conditions for generating radio waves. According to the team, they have the right amount of magnetic field strength and electron density. Yasmina Martos, lead author of the study and planetary scientist at NASA.
Martos and his team concluded that radio waves originate along the walls of a region that forms a kind of cone that is lined up and controlled by Jupiter’s magnetic field. Juno is only able to “hear” these signals when it passes through this area – as if the cone was a beacon and the probe was a ship lit up by it. The probe’s data also allowed the researchers to calculate the energy of the electrons responsible for generating radio waves – 23 times greater than previous estimates.
Studies of Jupiter’s magnetosphere are important because it is possible to understand what is happening inside the planet and in the space around it – as well as how this field affects the small worlds orbiting it, such as Io.
The article reporting on the research was published in June 2020 in the scientific journal Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
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