Magnetic Field of Jupiter and Its Interaction with the Solar Wind

Science  25 Jan 1974:
Vol. 183, Issue 4122, pp. 305-306
DOI: 10.1126/science.183.4122.305


Jupiter's magnetic field and its interaction with the magnetized solar wind were observed with the Pioneer 10 vector helium magnetometer. The magnetic dipole is directed opposite to that of the earth with a moment of 4.0 gauss RJ3 (RJ, Jupiter radius), and an inclination of 15° lying in a system III meridian of 230°. The dipole is offset about 0.1 RJ north of the equatorial plane and about 0.2 RJ toward longitude 170°. There is severe stretching of the planetary field parallel to the equator throughout the outer magnetosphere, accompanied by a systematic departure from meridian planes. The field configuration implies substantial plasma effects inside the magnetosphere, such as thermal pressure, centrifugal forces, and differential rotation. As at the earth, the outer boundary is thin, nor diffuse, and there is a detached bow shock.