Plasma Composition in Jupiter's Magnetosphere: Initial Results from the Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer

Science  11 Sep 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5076, pp. 1535-1539
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5076.1535


The ion composition in the Jovian environment was investigated with the Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer on board Ulysses. A hot tenuous plasma was observed throughout the outer and middle magnetosphere. In some regions two thermally different components were identified. Oxygen and sulfur ions with several different charge states, from the volcanic satellite lo, make the largest contribution to the mass density of the hot plasma, even at high latitude. Solar wind particles were observed in all regions investigated. Ions from Jupiter's ionosphere were abundant in the middle magnetosphere, particularly in the highlatitude region on the dusk side, which was traversed for the first time.