Storm-like dynamics of Jupiter's inner and middle magnetosphere


  • B. H. Mauk,

  • D. J. Williams,

  • R. W. McEntire,

  • K. K. Khurana,

  • J. G. Roederer


The discovery of energy-time dispersed, charged particle signatures of dynamic, longitudinally confined charged particle injections within Jupiter's inner magnetosphere has been reported previously as measured in >20-keV particle intensities by the Galileo energetic particles detector (EPD). While these events have similarities to so-called substorm injections observed within the Earth's magnetosphere, it is unknown whether the driving mechanisms are similar. Over 100 Jovian injection events have now been documented between radial distances of ∼9 RJ (the inner boundary of most of the observations) and 27 RJ Injections occur at all System III longitudes and local time positions. Similar to Earth magnetospheric injections, the Jovian injections occur throughout the broad radial region of transition between the quasi-dipolar and neutral sheet magnetic field configurations, and where the charged particle energy densities are competitive with the magnetic energy densities. The Jovian injections can be clustered in time, analogous to what often happens during well-known magnetic storms that occur in the Earth's magnetosphere. During one particular periapsis of Galileo's orbital trajectory, the magnetosphere was observed by EPD to become suddenly very disturbed with multiple injections following a prolonged period (>24 Earth hours) of relative quiescence. Because of the prestorm coincidence of a signature of an apparent Earth-like global magnetospheric disturbance, we hypothesize that this Jovian storm occurred when the inner and middle magnetosphere were triggered out of marginal stability by the passage of a magnetohydrodynamic fast mode wave launched at the magnetopause by a pressure variation in the interplanetary (solar wind) environment.