Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Io's interaction with the Jovian magnetosphere



When the Galileo orbiter passed within 1000 km of Io on December 7, 1995, the data collected were every bit as exciting as the Galileo team had expected, given the unique interaction between Io and the Jovian magnetosphere. The spacecraft detected intense beams of electrons propagating parallel to the magnetic field and a variety of unexpectedly strong wave phenomena surrounding Io that are associated with Io's production of new ions. There was also evidence for an intrinsic magnetic field, possibly generated by a dynamo within Io, and a cool “ionospheric”plasma flowing away from Io, removing tens of kilograms of material per second, not nearly a ton per second, as previously thought.