Electric Io

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:02 pm

MGmirkin wrote:Prepare to have your fun ruined!


Thanks Michael, just what I didn't want. ;)


Mgmirkin wrote:
That bears repeating:


Io actually generates as much wattage as about 1,000 nuclear power plants.

It also makes sense that they'd find an electric current there, considering it's already known that a million Amp current flows between Jupiter / Io...

(The Io Dynamo)
http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/earthmag/wio.htm


The path of the space probe Voyager 1 was designed to check out this dynamo, by flying close to where its currents were expected to flow. It did so on March 5, 1979, and its magnetometer very clearly detected the signature of a current of about a million amperes. Previous to that it was noted that unlike any other moon of Jupiter, Io had a strong influence on radio emissions from Jupiter's magnetosphere, which depended on its position: it could be that the moon's unique electric currents were involved in this.



Big numbers indeed, must be some nuclear driven dynamo hidden somewhere :lol:

As Io moves around its orbit in the strong magnetic field of Jupiter and through this plasma torus, a huge electrical current is set up between Io and Jupiter in a cylinder of highly concentrated magnetic flux called the Io Flux Tube. The Flux Tube has a power output of about 2 trillion watts , comparable to the amount of all manmade power produced on Earth. It is responsible for bursts of radio frequency radiation long detected on Earth.

http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect ... ns/io.html
http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=8712#p8712
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby MGmirkin » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:37 pm

StefanR wrote:Big numbers indeed, must be some nuclear driven dynamo hidden somewhere :lol:

As Io moves around its orbit in the strong magnetic field of Jupiter and through this plasma torus, a huge electrical current is set up between Io and Jupiter in a cylinder of highly concentrated magnetic flux called the Io Flux Tube. The Flux Tube has a power output of about 2 trillion watts , comparable to the amount of all manmade power produced on Earth. It is responsible for bursts of radio frequency radiation long detected on Earth.

http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect ... ns/io.html
http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=8712#p8712


Holy c@rp! Something's fishy... Well, maybe not.

So, wait, they've said the flux tube(s) are 1 million Amps. They've said the flux tube(s) are 2 trillion watts...

So, what does that tell us (having #'s for both watts and Amps)?

http://amasci.com/elect/vwatt1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampere
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coulomb
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt

Well, according to Wikipedia, 2 trillion watts is 2 terawatts.

If I read Wikipedia correctly, volts can be re written as watts/amperes. So, can we estimate the voltage if we know watts and amps? A back-of-the-envelope calculation yields the following:

2,000,000,000,000W / 1,000,000A = 2,000,000V
W=watts, A=Amps, V=volts.

So, does that mean the voltage potential in the interaction is 2 million volts?

Regards,
~Michael Gmirkin
"The purpose of science is to investigate the unexplained, not to explain the uninvestigated." ~Dr. Stephen Rorke
"For every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD." ~Gibson's law
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:53 am

MGmirkin wrote:So, does that mean the voltage potential in the interaction is 2 million volts?


Personally I don't see a problem with that, it seems to fit in with other figures

X-ray spectra measured by Chandra showed that the auroral activity was produced by ions of oxygen and other elements that were stripped of most of their electrons. This implies that these particles were accelerated to high energies in a multimillion-volt environment above the planet's poles. The presence of these energetic ions indicates that the cause of many of Jupiter's auroras is different from auroras produced on Earth or Saturn.
Image

Electric voltages of about 10 million volts, and currents of 10 million amps - a hundred times greater than the most powerful lightning bolts - are required to explain the X-ray observations. These voltages would also explain the radio emission from energetic electrons observed near Jupiter by the Ulysses spacecraft.

On Earth, auroras are triggered by solar storms of energetic particles, which disturb Earth's magnetic field. Gusts of particles from the Sun can also produce auroras on Jupiter, but unlike Earth, Jupiter has another way of producing auroras. Jupiter's rapid rotation, intense magnetic field, and an abundant source of particles from its volcanically active moon, Io, create a huge reservoir of electrons and ions. These charged particles, trapped in Jupiter's magnetic field, are continually accelerated down into the atmosphere above the polar regions where they collide with gases to produce the aurora, which are almost always active on Jupiter.

If the particles responsible for the aurora came from the Sun, they should have been accompanied by large number of protons, which would have produced an intense ultraviolet aurora. Hubble ultraviolet observations made during the Chandra monitoring period showed relatively weak ultraviolet flaring. The combined Chandra and Hubble data indicate that this auroral activity was caused by the acceleration of charged ions of oxygen and other elements trapped in the polar magnetic field high above Jupiter's atmosphere.

http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/05_releases/press_030205.html

So at Jupiter the observed aurora seems to be 10 million volts and Io has 2 million volts. That would leave some millions of volts for Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. More flux tubes anyone? :D



In relation to other voltages and such:

Bright auroras are generally associated with Birkeland currents (Schield et al., 1969;[15] Zmuda and Armstrong, 1973[16]) which flow down into the ionosphere on one side of the pole and out on the other. In between, some of the current connects directly through the ionospheric E layer (125 km); the rest ("region 2") detours, leaving again through field lines closer to the equator and closing through the "partial ring current" carried by magnetically trapped plasma. The ionosphere is an ohmic conductor, so such currents require a driving voltage, which some dynamo mechanism can supply. Electric field probes in orbit above the polar cap suggest voltages of the order of 40,000 volts, rising up to more than 200,000 volts during intense magnetic storms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(astronomy)

Williams says a moderate thunderstorm generates several hundred megawatts of electrical power.
Williams says that a typical lightning bolt may transfer 1020 electrons in a fraction of a second, developing a peak current of up to 10 kiloamperes.

Based on that principle, magnetic links are widely used for the measurement of the lightning currents. Most measurements have been in the range 5,000 to 20,000 amps but a famous strike just before the Apollo 15 launch in 1971 was measured at 100,000 amperes by magnetic links attached to the umbilical tower. Currents over 200,000 amps have been reported.

Most commonly, the lightning current ceases in about a millisecond for a given stroke, but sometimes there is a continuing current on the order of 100 amps following one or more of the strokes.

Williams says a typical lightning bolt bridges a potential difference (voltage) of several hundred million volts.
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/lightning2.html#c3
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby MGmirkin » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:59 am

StefanR wrote:More flux tubes anyone? :D


I would have to say with 95-98% certainty: "Yes! Absolutely!"

In fact, the evidence is indirect but quite compelling once you think about it. I've got an upcoming Thunderblog that goes into more detail, but I'll see if I can boil it down to the barest of bones...

In the case of the Thunderblog, my main focus is Enceladus (I think it's in a very similar interaction with Saturn). But it also digresses to discuss the Jovian system as part of the argument...

(The Hot Poles of Enceladus)
http://thunderbolts.info/tpod/2005/arch ... eladus.htm

The temperature profile of Enceladus was quite unexpected. Just like Wal's predictions about Saturn's [wintry] north polar hot spot, experimentum crucis. Scientists were surprised when the "cold" anti-sunward pole actually turned out to be just as hot as its sunward sibling. No surprise from the EU camp.

Anyway, the argument about the Jovian system is pretty straightforward.

(The Io Dynamo)
http://www.phy6.org/Education/wio.html

The path of the space probe Voyager 1 was designed to check out this dynamo, by flying close to where its currents were expected to flow. It did so on March 5, 1979, and its magnetometer very clearly detected the signature of a current of about a million amperes.


Since 1979 (a few months before I was even born, no less!), they've known that Io and Jupiter are embroiled in a million Amp current.

(The Moon Io: A Seething Interior and Active Surface)
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect ... ns/io.html

As Io moves around its orbit in the strong magnetic field of Jupiter and through this plasma torus, a huge electrical current is set up between Io and Jupiter in a cylinder of highly concentrated magnetic flux called the Io Flux Tube. The Flux Tube has a power output of about 2 trillion watts, comparable to the amount of all manmade power produced on Earth. It is responsible for bursts of radio frequency radiation long detected on Earth.


More recently, they seem to have also intimated that the flux tube interaction rates a a piddly 2 terawatts. ;) What, no petawatts?

(Satellite Footprints Seen in Jupiter Aurora)
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archiv ... es/2000/38

The aurora resembles the same phenomenon that crowns Earth's polar regions. But this Hubble image, taken in ultraviolet light, also shows the glowing "footprints" of three of Jupiter's largest moons: Io, Ganymede, and Europa ... These emissions, produced by electric currents generated by the moons, flow along Jupiter's magnetic field


Hubble has intimated that A) The auroral footprints are caused by electric currents. B) The electric currents flow along magnetic field lines ("Birkeland currents" or "field-aligned currents"). C) Not just Io has a footprint. At a minimum, Ganymede and Europa have similar footprints in Jupiter's aurora.

Common effects like this should have common cause! If Io's embroiled in an electrical current with Jupiter along a "flux tube," the other moons with similar auroral footprints must be embroiled in similar flux tubes! NASA just needs to look for the signatures... I can all but guarantee they'll find them, if they haven't already!

(New, Unexpected Spots Found on Jupiter)
http://www.universetoday.com/2008/03/18 ... n-jupiter/

The rotation of Jupiter causes the spiral shape of the aurora: Io is 'connected' in one spot, and as Jupiter rotates it draws a glowing swirl of UV light around the pole. Astronomers had previously seen spots 'downstream' from the main spot caused by the interaction with Io, but these new images show a faint leading spot in front of the main one, essentially "upstream" in the flow of particles that causes the phenomenon.

A team from the University of Liège in Belgium discovered the spots in ultraviolet Hubble images taken of Jupiter. They found that when there were faint leading spots in one of the hemispheres, there were multiple spots in the other. The researchers propose that a beam of electrons is being transferred from one hemisphere to another, causing the fainter spots.

[...]

The image below illustrates the different mechanisms creating the auroral spots. The large torus around Jupiter is the plume of sulfur created by Io. The blue line between Io and Jupiter is where it is connected by the ionized sulfur, drawn in and funneled by Jupiter's magnetosphere. The red lines illustrate the possible electron beams connecting the poles, which create the newly-discovered spots.

[Image]


Not only does Io have an auroral footprint in one hemisphere, it appears to be part of an electrical connection between BOTH hemispheres. Scientists now theorize an electron beam (an electron current; as opposed to a conventional current) is interacting with Io as it travels from one hemisphere of Jupiter to the other. Where does the circuit close, if this is an ongoing current and not simply a transitive event like lightning?

In any event, it's a pretty simply deductive step to say that 1) Io and Jupiter are in electrical interaction. 2) Io has footprints in Jupiter's auroras. 3) Other moons also have extremely similar footprints in Jupiter's Aurora. 4) Most likely, those moons are involved in just such an electrical interaction with Jupiter as well!

A very similar interaction is probably happening between Saturn and Enceladus, as well. Hence it's anomalous temperature profile with warmer spots at the poles, controverting (falsifying!) prior theories predicted a significantly different temperature profile.

Regards,
~Michael Gmirkin
"The purpose of science is to investigate the unexplained, not to explain the uninvestigated." ~Dr. Stephen Rorke
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:12 pm

MGmirkin wrote:I would have to say with 95-98% certainty: "Yes! Absolutely!"

In fact, the evidence is indirect but quite compelling once you think about it. I've got an upcoming Thunderblog that goes into more detail, but I'll see if I can boil it down to the barest of bones...


I'm confident that it will be a good article again. :)

And there are reports telling the same thing:

AURORAL EMISSIONS OF JUPITER: FUV
IMAGING AND TIME DEPENDENT
SPECTROSCOPY

Several types of aurora have been observed at Jupiter using ground-based infrared
imaging and three generations of ultraviolet imagers on board the Hubble Space Telescope.

Inside the main oval, the aurora is connected with the outer magnetosphere. Emissions
are patchy and highly variable and transient features with time scales of about 1 minute
have been observed.
The associated electron energy is typically in the range 40-120
keV but the electron bursts do not coincide with an increase of the electron mean energy.
This lack of correlation suggests that precipitation in this region is at least partly
controlled by solar wind activity. By contrast, the Jovian main oval that maps to 20-30
RJ does not show short time scale variations.
It is formed by 30-200 keV electrons
apparently accelerated by voltage drops associated with the upward field-aligned current
connecting the equatorial magnetosphere with the high-latitude ionosphere.
The
observed energy flux-mean electron energy relationship agrees well with that expected
in a field-aligned current calculated for reasonable values of the density and temperature
of the plasma near the equatorial plane. In addition, a faint diffuse emission is
also present at lower latitudes.
Auroral spots are observed at the footprint of the flux
tubes of Io, Ganymede and Europa.
The tail extending downstream of IoŠs magnetic
footprint is characterized by a lower energy precipitation (<55 keV) associated with
small deviations from corotation which can supply energy to fuel the observed auroral
emissions.
http://www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU04/02285/EGU04-J-02285.pdf
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:20 pm

Image

The boundary of Jupiter's magnetosphere in a meridional cross-section is shown, as is the cross-section of the Io torus. Multicoloured dots are intended to show hot planetary fast neutrals expanding outward in all directions. Green dots represent the cold wind and originate from a lower energy wind of neutral atoms and molecules escaping Io's plasma torus following charge exchange and having a corotation speed of approx75 km s-1, generally confined close to Jupiter's equatorial plane. A few neutrals, converted into pick-up ions, are shown gyrating in the general direction of the solar wind, outside the magnetosphere. The solar disk is included for scale.



Several planetary missions have reported1, 2, 3, 4 the presence of substantial numbers of energetic ions and electrons surrounding Jupiter; relativistic electrons are observable up to several astronomical units (au) from the planet. A population of energetic (>30 keV) neutral particles also has been reported5, but the instrumentation was not able to determine the mass or charge state of the particles, which were subsequently labelled6 energetic neutral atoms. Although images showing the presence of the trace element sodium were obtained7, the source and identity of the neutral atoms—and their overall significance relative to the loss of charged particles from Jupiter's magnetosphere—were unknown. Here we report the discovery by the Cassini spacecraft of a fast (>103 km s-1) and hot magnetospheric neutral wind extending more than 0.5 au from Jupiter, and the presence of energetic neutral atoms (both hot and cold) that have been accelerated by the electric field in the solar wind. We suggest that these atoms originate in volcanic gases from Io, undergo significant evolution through various electromagnetic interactions, escape Jupiter's magnetosphere and then populate the environment around the planet. Thus a 'nebula' is created that extends outwards over hundreds of jovian radii.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v415/n6875/full/415994a.html
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:25 pm

Image
Images of the Io Plasma Torus and Neutral Clouds
http://lasp.colorado.edu/~nick/
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:36 pm

Image
Io's Atmosphere: Direct Volcanic Outgassing
or SO2 Frost Sublimation?

Jupiter's satellite Io has a thin, patchy atmosphere composed mostly of sulfur dioxide. Atmospheric constituents can be seen at ultraviolet and microwave wavelengths, and the atmosphere has been seen “glowing” in eclipse or nighttime images at visible wavelengths (see Figure 1). The three main proposed mechanisms for generating an atmosphere on Io include frost sublimation, surface sputtering, and active volcanism. Although the relative role of each mechanism is not well understood, both SO2 frost sublimation and active volcanism appear to play a role (surface sputtering is only important if atmospheric densities drop to very low values). Wong and Smyth (2000, Icarus 146, p. 60) summarize the evidence for a sublimation-driven component. The role of active volcanic outgassing is suggested by the apparent patchiness of SO2 vapor across Io's surface, the observed red-shifted and broadened shape of SO and SO2 at millimeter wavelengths, and the presence of Na, K, and Cl (i.e., non-sulfur or oxygen components) in the Io plasma torus and neutral clouds (see Moses et al. 2002, Icarus 156, p. 76 for further evidence and references). To determine how active volcanism might affect the standard picture of sulfur dioxide photochemistry on Io, Mikhail Zolotov, Bruce Fegley, and I have developed a one-dimensional atmospheric model in which a variety of sulfur-, oxygen-, sodium-, chlorine-, and potassium-bearing volatiles are volcanically outgassed at Io's surface and then evolve due to photolysis, chemical kinetics, and diffusion. Although Io's low-density atmosphere is complex, highly dynamic, and not well represented by one-dimensional hydrostatic-equilibrium models, our models give useful first-order predictions of the relative abundances of different potential atmospheric species and for determining the importance of photochemical processing of the volcanic gases. Thermochemical equilibrium calculations (Zolotov and Fegley 1999, Icarus 141, p. 40 and Fegley and Zolotov 2000, Icarus 148, p. 193) in combination with recent observations of gases in the Pele plume (Spencer et al. 2000, Science 288, p. 1208 and McGrath et al. 2000, Icarus 146, p. 476) are used to help constrain the composition and physical properties of the exsolved volcanic vapors. Both the observations and equilibrium models suggest that S2 may be a common gas emitted in volcanic eruptions on Io. If so, our photochemical models indicate that the composition of Io's atmosphere could differ significantly from the case of an atmosphere in equilibrium with SO2 frost.

The major differences as they relate to oxygen and sulfur species are an increased abundance of S, S2, S3, S4, SO, and S2O and a decreased abundance of O and O2 in the Pele-type volcanic models as compared with frost sublimation models (see Figure 2). One observational test of the significance of active volcanoes in maintaining Io's atmosphere would be the simultaneous monitoring of SO and SO2 at ultraviolet or microwave wavelengths. We predict that the SO/SO2 ratio will be spatially and temporally variable as volcanic activity fluctuates. Many of the interesting volcanic species in our model (e.g., S2, S3, S4, S2O) are short lived and will be rapidly destroyed on Io once volcanic plumes shut off; condensation of these species near the source vent is likely. The diffuse red deposits associated with active volcanic centers on Io may be caused by S4 radicals that are created and temporarily preserved when sulfur vapor (predominantly S2) condenses around the volcanic vent. Condensation of SO across the surface and, in particular, in the polar regions might also affect surface spectral properties. We predict that the S/O ratio in the torus and neutral clouds might be correlated with volcanic activity — during periods when volcanic outgassing of S2 is prevalent, we would expect the escape of sulfur to be enhanced relative to that of oxygen, and the S/O ratio in the torus and neutral clouds would be correspondingly enhanced.

We also find that NaCl, Na, Cl, KCl, and K will be the dominant alkali and chlorine gases in atmospheres generated from Pele-like plume eruptions on Io. Although the relative abundances of these species depend on uncertain model parameters and initial conditions, these five species remain dominant for a wide variety of realistic conditions. Other sodium and chlorine molecules such as NaS, NaO, Na2, NaS2, NaO2, NaOS, NaSO2, SCl, ClO, Cl2, S2Cl, and SO2Cl2 will be only minor constituents in the ionian atmosphere because of their low volcanic emission rates and their efficient photochemical destruction mechanisms. Our modeling has implications for the general appearance, properties, and variability of the neutral sodium clouds and jets observed near Io. The neutral NaCl molecules present at high altitudes generated by active volcanoes might provide the NaX+ ion needed to help explain the morphology of the high velocity sodium “stream” feature observed near Io. The recent microwave detection of NaCl vapor in Io's atmosphere by Lellouch et al. 2002, Int. Astron. Union Circ. 7803) provides support for the hypothesis that active volcanoes play a role in maintaining the atmosphere and that NaCl may be the unidentified “NaX” molecule needed to explain the “stream” feature; however, the inferred NaCl/SO2 ratio of ~0.1% suggests that volcanoes are not the only atmospheric source.
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/moses/io.shtml
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:38 pm

Atmosphere

Io has an extremely thin atmosphere consisting mainly of sulfur dioxide (SO2) with a pressure of a billionth of an atmosphere.[26] The thin Ionian atmosphere means any future landing probes sent to investigate Io will not need to be encased in an aeroshell-style heatshield, but instead require retrorockets for a soft landing. The thin atmosphere also necessitates a rugged lander capable of enduring the strong Jovian radiation, which a thicker atmosphere would attenuate.
Image
The same radiation (in the form of a plasma) strips the atmosphere so that it must be constantly replenished.[75] The most dramatic source of SO2 is volcanism, but the atmosphere is largely sustained by sunlight-driven sublimation of SO2 frozen on the surface. The atmosphere is largely confined to the equator, where the surface is warmest and most active volcanic plumes reside.[76] Other variations also exist, with the highest densities near volcanic vents (particularly at sites of volcanic plumes) and on Io's anti-Jovian hemisphere (the side that faces away from Jupiter, where SO2 frost is most abundant).[75]

High resolution images of Io show an aurora-like glow. As on Earth, this is due to radiation hitting the atmosphere. Aurorae usually occur near the magnetic poles of planets, but Io's are brightest near its equator. Io lacks a magnetic field of its own; therefore, electrons traveling along Jupiter's magnetic field near Io directly impact the satellite's atmosphere. More electrons collide with the atmosphere, producing the brightest aurora, where the field lines are tangent to the satellite (i.e., near the equator), since the column of gas they pass through is longer there. Aurorae associated with these tangent points on Io are observed to "rock" with the changing orientation of Jupiter's tilted magnetic dipole.[77]
http://www.answers.com/topic/io
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Re: Electric Io creates hot spots on Jupiter

Unread postby StefanR » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:57 pm

The Dungey cycle, developed by British scientist Jim Dungey in 1961, is the scientifically accepted paradigm for explaining how magnetic reconnection circulates the Earth’s magnetic field. During this cycle, magnetic field lines are brought up near the nose of the magnetosphere where they interconnect, becoming “open” and coupling the energy from the motion of the solar wind into the magnetosphere.

That interconnection allows vast energy from the million mile-per-hour solar wind into the magnetosphere, which is the driving force behind geomagnetic storms, or space weather, that can seriously damage or destroy probes and satellites. Subsequent motion of the solar wind around the Earth’s magnetosphere drags the interconnected field lines back over its magnetic poles where they drift down into the center of the magnetotail and reconnect again, but this time with similar field lines from the opposite hemisphere so that they are “closed” or connected to the planet at both ends. Finally, the Dungey cycle completes as the newly closed field lines circulate back toward Earth, around to its dayside and back to its starting position at the nose of the magnetosphere.

For years space physicists have considered the Dungey cycle to be the dominant circulation process in magnetospheres throughout the solar system, even though observations from the largest magnetosphere in the solar system — Jupiter’s — didn’t add up,” says Dr. David McComas, senior executive director of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute.

“There are three key ways that the magnetosphere of Jupiter differs from that of Earth,” argues Dr. Fran Bagenal, a professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at CU. “It’s much bigger, it spins faster and it has a powerful source of material.”

The time it takes for material that reconnects in the magnetotail and moves back up to Earth is only about 10 hours, less than half a day. However, the process at Jupiter takes 750 to 1,000 hours.

“Consider that a Jupiter day is only about 10 hours,” says McComas. “That means it would take as many as 100 Jovian days for reconnected field lines to move back up to Jupiter - a staggering difference.”

Furthermore, the magnetosphere of Jupiter is coupled to the spinning planet. “Imagine stirring up a bowl of spaghetti,” says Bagenal. “The fast, 10-hour spin of the Jovian magnetic field complicates the topology of flux tubes that are connected to the planet on one end while the other, open end is swept away by the solar wind.”

Another difference is that Jupiter has an active volcanic moon, Io, which spews out roughly a ton of material, mostly sulfur and oxygen, every second. Half of that material is lost through a process called charge exchange, but the other half moves down the Jovian magnetotail as ions dragging the planetary magnetic field tailward. Earth has no such counterpart to impede the return flow back toward the planet.

The new theory suggests a different geometry for closing off the magnetic field that has become interconnected with the solar wind — additional magnetic reconnection with other solar wind field lines that produce closed planetary field lines by reconnecting with open lines anchored back to both magnetic poles. This geometry at Jupiter allows for tailward flow everywhere in the tail and doesn’t require a planetward flow, as at Earth. This explains why the polar aurora at Jupiter doesn’t look like the terrestrial aurora. It also explains why observations from Ulysses showed that open flux occurs at low latitudes, not at the high latitudes required at Earth. At Jupiter the material is dragged farther down the sides of the magnetosphere so that they occur at lower latitudes.

“Our model matches up with the observations — further evidence that the magnetospheric structure and processes at Earth and Jupiter are quite different,” says McComas.


New Horizons’ instrument reveals structure, plasma in Jupiter’s magnetotail

During the first traversal nearly straight down Jupiter’s magnetotail, the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument aboard New Horizons gathered remarkable new data on the magnetospheric bubble that surrounds Jupiter. The encounter, a bonus science mission for the Pluto-bound spacecraft, occurred as it rounded the planet in February 2007 for a gravity assist to help speed its journey to the edge of the solar system.

During the flyby, SWAP measured plasma populations inside the planet’s magnetosphere on an orbit that has never been traveled before. That orbit carried the spacecraft from the planet back a hundred million miles deep into the magnetotail, the portion of the magnetosphere dragged away from the Sun by the flow of the million mile-per-hour solar wind. Previous examinations of Jupiter’s magnetotail were limited to measurements very close to the planet and few very brief encounters at even greater distances.
Image
SWAP gathered these plasma observations just after New Horizons’ inbound crossing of Jupiter’s magnetopause, through closest approach and back down the magnetotail. The schematic at top shows the plasma disk near Jupiter and large plasmoids (colored) moving down the magnetotail past New Horizons. The five spectrograms below it cover the five intervals numbered in the schematic. In general, the magnetotail becomes more disturbed with increasing variability in ion flux and flow speed with greater distances.

“This was an absolutely fabulous trajectory for doing new science; the spacecraft went almost straight down the middle of the largest cohesive structure in the solar system,” says Dr. David J. McComas, who is SWAP principal investigator as well as the senior executive director of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. “We could actually see the structure of the magnetotail and watch its evolution with distance for the first time.”

Observations revealed an extremely complicated structure in the magnetotail with large blobs, or plasmoids, of magnetically influenced plasma drifting down the tail at a relatively slow rate of speed. As the distance from the planet increased, the magnetotail became more highly structured with gradual variations in the plasma and sharp boundaries (discontinuities) between plasma regimes.

SWAP gathered data from solar wind observations upstream of Jupiter, through the closest approach encounter, and back to about 2,500 Jovian radii (about 100 million miles) at the boundary of the magnetotail, called the magnetopause. Data show that the inner magnetotail contains very hot ions — hotter than the top of SWAP's 7.5-kilovolt energy per charge range — that evolved to cooler and slower flows down the tail, beginning at about 100 Jovian radii; these flows were highly variable in flux and energy.

SWAP observations also revealed an unexpected component in the material flowing away from Jupiter. In addition to the volcanic material released from Io and material entering the magnetotail from the solar wind, the team found intense bursts of ionospheric hydrogen and H3+, which could only be coming from Jupiter's atmosphere.

“It’s clear there's significant escape of material from the planet because the brightest burst we see turns out to be material that's largely from Jupiter, not from the solar wind or Io,” says McComas.

New Horizons’ encounter with Jupiter also raised some new questions. “In addition to seeing flows move down the magnetotail, we saw them sometimes move across it,” says McComas. “Because Jupiter has the largest and most powerful magnetosphere in the solar system, everything we can learn about this and other mysteries could have implications for the other planets.” Additional questions center on the unexpected variability of the energy and speed of the plasma flows, as well as the multi-day periodicities that were consistent with plasmoids expanding as they move down the tail.



Scientists using New Horizons’ SwRI-developed Alice ultraviolet spectrograph, which is designed to image ultraviolet emissions, noted auroral brightness and morphology variations as the spacecraft entered and then exited the eclipse zone revealing changes in the relative contribution of sublimation and volcanic sources to the atmosphere. The findings were supported by concurrent Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet imaging.

Image
Auroral emissions from the East Girru plume were observed in both this UV image by the Hubble Space Telescope and simultaneous New Horizons images of Io in solar eclipse by Jupiter.

FUV (far-ultraviolet) aurora morphology also reveals the plumes effect on Io’s electrodynamic interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere. Comparisons to simulations of Io’s aurora indicate that volcanoes supply 1 percent to 3 percent of Io’s dayside atmosphere.

Io is volcanically active, and that volcanism ultimately is the source material for Io’s sulfur-dioxide atmosphere, but the relative contributions of volcanic plumes and sublimation of frosts deposited near the plumes have remained a question for almost 30 years,” said Dr. Kurt Retherford, a senior research scientist in the Space Science and Engineering Division at the Institute.

“When Io goes into solar eclipse, and during the night, its surface temperature drops significantly, causing diminished sublimation of surface material into the atmosphere. The atmosphere at that point collapses down so that all that is left supplying the atmosphere are the volcanoes,” Retherford said


http://www.swri.org/3pubs/ttoday/Winter07/Jupiter.htm
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Jupiter's EM connected moons

Unread postby solrey » Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:58 pm

Jupiter's magnetic moon generates spectacular light show.

Both Ganymede and the volcanically active moon Io interact with Jupiter’s plasma as they orbit around the planet, generating bright spots at the poles called “auroral footprints.” Until now, however, no one knew how big Ganymede’s footprint was or why the moon caused these beautiful light shows.


“By analyzing the exact locations of these features and how their shape and brightness changes as Io and Gaynmede move in their orbit around Jupiter, we have created the most detailed picture to date of how Jupiter and these moons are electromagnetically interconnected.”


In addition to linking Ganymede’s footprint with its magnetic field, Grodent and his team discovered unexpected periodic variations in the brightness of the moon’s aurora, happening on three different timescales. The researchers think each variation reflects a specific interaction between Jupiter’s plasma and Ganymede’s magnetic field, but they don’t yet know what’s causing the interactions.


Yep, we've been trying to tell ya, it's all about electrified plasma. :D

At least they're starting to catch on, apparently it's too difficult to ignore the obvious forever.

Periodic variations might be due to a transistor-like electromagnetic induction trigger, similar to the one they recently discovered in Earth's magnetosphere.
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Re: Jupiter's EM connected moons

Unread postby jjohnson » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:58 pm

The article was actually pretty straightforward (it didn't come from the US), but it was pretty coy about coming right out and congratulating EU ideas for showing the way. Between Ganymede's magnetosphere "exerting a pull" (?? maybe they meant contributing a current sheet) and Io's so-called volcanoes ejecting charged particles (likely in the form of plasma), the author notes that the auroral structures "tell a story about vast transfers of energy taking place far away from the planet". Of course they do. Right through the vacuum of space and all. Bonk me with a 2x4!

Vast transfers of energy in small local plasmas, not unlike the vast transfers of energy via plasma currents along our spiral arms and between galaxies. And no, they haven't detected the dark matter high tension lines that have been strung out there to facilitate these energy transfers, yet, but with just a few more research projects and the expected help from the LIGO contraption they will certainly be identified Real Soon Now!
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Re: Jupiter's EM connected moons

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:42 pm

jjohnson wrote:Bonk me with a 2x4!


Consider yourself bonked! :ugeek:

*Couldn't help but laugh just a little when I read your statement.* Nice!

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Re: Jupiter's EM connected moons

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:17 pm

Well, we already know there's an Io-Jupiter "flux tube" (carrying a 1,000,000+ Amp current).

And just 'cause I can, I might also point out that Jupiter's auroras themselves are "high-voltage" at 10,000,000 Volts, 10,000,000 Amps, thus appx 100,000,000,000,000 Watts (only 100 trillion or so, but who's counting?).

And there's even talk of Io being embroiled in an electron beam (electron current) connecting one hemisphere of Jupiter to the other...

I've already said I'd be surprised if they didn't find similar mechanisms for the footprints already know to be generated by Ganymede and Europa... Common behaviors from common causes, and all that.

We know from an older article that the Galileo spacecraft already schooled them on a few electrical processes at Io (apparently they don't learn too quickly?). Firstly, there are apparently electric currents flowing along magnetic field lines ([field aligned] Birkeland currents, anyone? Anyone?) over two of the so-called "volcanic regions" (which is basically a substatiation of the claims made by Peratt and Dessler in their joint paper Filamentation of Volcanic Plumes on the Jovian Satellite Io; granted they cagily only go so far as to say the filamentation of "volcanic plumes" is due to discharge between Io / Jupiter, saying nothing on the legitimacy of the "volcano" designation itself; Thornhill is more blunt on the topic: here, here & here saying they're more similar to the effects of giant arc welders than volcanoes). Secondly, we find out that as it flew over the pole the "whistling" radio signals turned into a roar, only to end as abruptly upon exiting the region of the pole. In their own words:

"You hear a whistling sound from Jupiter's radio emissions, then, just when you go over [Io's] pole, you hear a tremendous roar that starts abruptly, then stops abruptly," Gurnett said. "It's like the noise from a huge electrical power generator." Io actually generates as much wattage as about 1,000 nuclear power plants.


Seems to me there's a significant current flowing there. Enough to generate the heavy-duty, extremely localized radio noise directly over the pole.

I've already said I think the same thing is going on with an Enceladus-Saturn connection (hence the Enceladus polar temperature profile, which was quite unexpected when discovered). Tentative notion, for sure. But not unreasonable to suggest investigating based upon the accumulating evidence of heavy-duty electrodynamics just about everywhere probes look.

Need I say more, or did I pretty fairly cover all my bases? :D

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Jupiter-Io Tidal Heating?

Unread postby substance » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:17 am

I read an article about the Solar System`s moons in the current issue of New Scientist. I learned there that the official explanation for Io`s extreme vulcanic activity is the so-called process "tidal heating", meaning since Io moves on an Ellipse the variation of the Jupiter`s "pull" on the moon is enough to create tidal friction in the crust and thus heat it.

Being always doubtful about news articles on astronomy, I plugged some masses and Perigee/Apogee distances in Newton`s gravitational law and my results show that while the Earth`s gravitational force on our Moon varies by 19.89%, the variation in the Jupiter-Io system is just 1.59%!

According to my logic, since we don`t see any tidal heating on our moon then the process could not exist on Io with more than 10 times less variation in the gravitational force or am I missing something?

What does Plasma Cosmology have to say about this?
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