UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Supersonic winds in Jupiter's aurorae

Rego, D; Achilleos, N; Stallard, T; Miller, S; Prange, R; Dougherty, M; Joseph, RD; (1999) Supersonic winds in Jupiter's aurorae. NATURE , 399 (6732) 121 - 124.

Full text not available from this repository.


Jupiter has a giant magnetosphere that is coupled to the planet's upper atmosphere; as the planet rotates, its magnetic field drags a dense ionized equatorial sheet of plasma, which must interact with the upper atmosphere. Jupiter's aurorae are much more powerful(1,2) than the Earths, and cause significant local heating of the upper atmosphere. Auroral electrojets-ion winds that race around Jupiter's auroral ovals-play a key role in theoretical models of how Jupiter's rotational energy is transferred to the plasma sheet(3,4) and how winds may transport energy from auroral heating to lower latitudes(5-7). But there has hitherto been no direct observational evidence for the existence of such electrojets, Here we report observations of electrojets that have winds approaching or in excess of the local speed of sound. The energy produced by these electrojets could heat the whole upper atmosphere, if the auroral regions couple efficiently with the rest of the planet.

Type: Article
Title: Supersonic winds in Jupiter's aurorae
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/83529
Downloads since deposit
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item