Effectiveness of near-grazing incidence reflection in creating the rotationally modulated lanes in the Jovian hectometric radio emission spectrum


  • J. D. Menietti,

  • D. A. Gurnett,

  • W. S. Kurth,

  • J. B. Groene


The Galileo plasma wave instrument has identified a narrow (in frequency) attenuation band in the hectometric emission that varies in frequency with system III longitude. It is possible to model this emission band assuming a high-latitude cyclotron source region with emission that is efficiently attenuated when the ray path is nearly tangent to an L shell that is close to the Io flux tube [Gurnett et al, 1998]. The data suggest that the mechanism for attenuating the emission is very efficient, with the ratio of attenuated to unattenuated emission I/I0 < 0.02, and not a strong function of frequency. In this paper we demonstrate that incoherent scattering alone cannot explain the attenuation lane, which does not preclude coherent scattering by uncertain processes. We find rather that the source of attenuation is consistent with near-grazing incidence reflection of emission from an L shell that is near the Io flux tube (a caustic surface).