Io's Interaction with the Plasma Torus: Galileo Magnetometer Report

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Science  18 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5286, pp. 396-398
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5286.396


Galileo magnetometer data at 0.22-second resolution reveal a complex interaction between Io and the flowing plasma of the Io torus. The highly structured magnetic field depression across the downstream wake, although consistent with a magnetized Io, is modified by sources of currents within the plasma that introduce ambiguity into the interpretation of the signature. Highly monochromatic ion cyclotron waves appear to be correlated with the local neutral particle density. The power peaks in the range of molecular ion gyrofrequencies, suggesting that molecules from Io can remain undissociated over a region of more than 15 Io radii around Io.