Jupiter’s aurorae are produced in its upper atmosphere when incoming high-energy electrons precipitate along the planet’s magnetic field lines. A northern and a southern main auroral oval are visible, surrounded by small emission features associated with the Galilean moons. We present infrared observations, obtained with the Juno spacecraft, showing that in the case of Io, this emission exhibits a swirling pattern that is similar in appearance to a von Kármán vortex street. Well downstream of the main auroral spots, the extended tail is split in two. Both of Ganymede’s footprints also appear as a pair of emission features, which may provide a remote measure of Ganymede’s magnetosphere. These features suggest that the magnetohydrodynamic interaction between Jupiter and its moon is more complex than previously anticipated.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Planetary Science
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Natural Sciences in General