Magnetic Field Observations During the Ulysses Flyby of Jupiter

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 Sep 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5076, pp. 1515-1518
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5076.1515


The Jovian flyby of the Ulysses spacecraft presented the opportunity to confirm and complement the findings of the four previous missions that investigated the structure and dynamics of the Jovian magnetosphere and magnetic field, as well as to explore for the first time the high-latitude dusk side of the magnetosphere and its boundary regions. In addition to confirming the general structure of the dayside magnetosphere, the Ulysses magnetic field measurements also showed that the importance of the current sheet dynamics extends well into the middle and outer magnetosphere. On the dusk side, the magnetic field is swept back significantly toward the magnetotail. The importance of current systems, both azimuthal and field-aligned, in determining the configuration of the field has been strongly highlighted by the Ulysses data. No significant changes have been found in the internal planetary field; however, the need to modify the external current densities with respect to previous observations on the inbound pass shows that Jovian magnetic and magnetospheric models are highly sensitive to both the intensity and the structure assumed for the current sheet and to any time dependence that may be assigned to these. The observations show that all boundaries and boundary layers in the magnetosphere have a very complex microstructure. Waves and wave-like structures were observed throughout the magnetosphere; these included the longest lasting mirror-mode wave trains observed in space.