Accelerated flows at Jupiter's magnetopause: Evidence for magnetic reconnection along the dawn flank

R. W. Ebert, F. Allegrini, F. Bagenal, S. J. Bolton, J. E.P. Connerney, G. Clark, G. A. DiBraccio, D. J. Gershman, W. S. Kurth, S. Levin, P. Louarn, B. H. Mauk, D. J. McComas, M. Reno, J. R. Szalay, M. F. Thomsen, P. Valek, S. Weidner, R. J. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We report on plasma and magnetic field observations from Juno's Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment and Magnetic Field Investigation at 18 magnetopause crossings when the spacecraft was located at ~6 h magnetic local time and 73–114 Jovian radii from Jupiter. Several crossings showed evidence of plasma energization, accelerated ion flows, and large magnetic shear angles, each representing a signature of magnetic reconnection. These signatures were observed for times when the magnetosphere was in both compressed and expanded states. We compared the flow change magnitudes to a simplified Walén relation and found ~60% of the events to be 110% or less of the predicted values. Close examination of two magnetopause encounters revealed characteristics of a rotational discontinuity and an open magnetopause. These observations provide compelling evidence that magnetic reconnection can occur at Jupiter's dawn magnetopause and should be incorporated into theories of solar wind coupling and outer magnetosphere dynamics at Jupiter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4401-4409
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Jupiter's Magnetosphere
  • Magnetic Reconnection
  • Magnetopause
  • Reconnection Jets
  • Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Interactions
  • Walen Relation


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