Ulysses Radio Occultation Observations of the lo Plasma Torus During the Jupiter Encounter

Science  11 Sep 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5076, pp. 1531-1535
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5076.1531


Radio signals from Ulysses were used to probe the lo plasma torus (IPT) shortly after the spacecraft's closest approach to Jupiter. The frequencies of the two downlinks at S-band (2.3 gigahertz) and X-band (8.4 gigahertz) were recorded, differenced, and integrated in order to derive the columnar electron density of the IPT. The measurements agree qualitatively with contemporary models of the IPT based on Voyager data, but significant differences are apparent as well. The overall level of the IPT electron density is approximately the same as the prediction, implying that the amount of gas (or plasma) injected from lo is similar to that observed during the Voyager era. On the other hand, the IPT seems to be less extended out of the centrifugal equator, implying a smaller plasma temperature than predicted.