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Current-voltage relation of a centrifugally confined plasma

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  • L. C. Ray
  • Y. J. Su
  • R. E. Ergun
  • P. A. Delamere
  • F. Bagenal
Article numberA04214
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number4
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date28/04/09
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Observations of Jupiter's auroral regions indicate that electrons are accelerated into Jupiter's atmosphere creating emissions. The acceleration of the electrons intimate that parallel electric fields and field-aligned currents develop along the flux tubes which connect the equatorial plane to the areas with auroral emission. The relationship between the development of parallel electric fields and the parallel currents is often assumed to be the same as that on Earth. However, the relationship is significantly different at Jupiter due to a lack of plasma at high latitudes as large centrifugal forces caused by Jupiter's fast rotation period (about 9.8 h) constrain the magnetospheric plasma to the equatorial plane. We use a 1-D spatial, 2-D velocity space Vlasov code which has been modified to include centrifugal forces to examine the current-voltage relationship that exists at Jupiter. In particular, we investigate this relationship at a distance of 5.9 Jovian radii, the orbital radius of Io, which is coupled with the auroral spot and Io wake auroral emissions.

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© 2009 American Geophysical Union