Far-Ultraviolet Imaging of Jupiter's Aurora and the Io “Footprint”

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Science  18 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5286, pp. 404-409
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5286.404


Far-ultraviolet images of Jupiter from the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 reveal polar auroral emissions at 300 kilometer resolution and three times higher sensitivity than previously achieved. Persistent features include a main oval containing most of the emission and magnetically connected to the middle magnetosphere, diffuse and variable emissions poleward of the main oval, and discrete emission from Io's magnetic footprint equatorward of the oval. The auroral emissions are variable, exhibit magnetic conjugacy, and are visible above the planet limb. All emissions approximately co-rotate with Jupiter except the Io “footprint,” which is fixed along Io's magnetic flux tube.