Report

The Response of Jupiter's Magnetosphere to an Outburst on Io

Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 268-271
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.268

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Abstract

A 6-month-long monitoring campaign of the Io plasma torus and neutral cloud was conducted to determine the characteristics of their interaction. During the observations, a large outburst of material from Io—inferred to be caused by the eruption of a volcanic plume on Io—caused a transient increase in the neutral cloud and plasma torus masses. The response of the plasma torus to this outburst shows that the interaction between Io and Jupiter's magnetosphere is stabilized by a feedback mechanism in which increases in the plasma torus mass cause a nonlinear increase in loss from the plasma torus, limiting plasma buildup.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mbrown{at}gps.caltech.edu

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