Images of Jupiter's Sulfur Ring

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Science  11 Jan 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4427, pp. 181-183
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4427.181


Images of the ring of singly ionized sulfur encircling Jupiter obtained on two successive nights in April 1979 show that the ring characteristics may change dramatically in ∼ 24 hours. On the first night the ring was narrow and confined to the magnetic equator inside Io's orbit. On the second it was confined symmetrically about the centrifugal symmetry surface and showed considerable radial structure, including a "fan" extending to Io's orbit. Many of the differences in the ring on the two nights can be explained in terms of differences in sulfur plasma temperature.