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Keywords:

  • Jupiter;
  • aurora;
  • Ganymede;
  • footprint

The moons of giant planets can create a phenomenon called an “auroral footprint,” which is due to an interaction between the moon and the planet's magnetosphere. This phenomenon, which has been observed for Jupiter's moons Io, Europa, and Ganymede as well as Saturn's moon Enceladus, is usually seen as a single spot in the planet's aurora. However, Io has an auroral footprint that is known to be made up of at least three spots. Scientists wondered if a multispot auroral footprint is common or unique to Io.