Electron beams and loss cones in the auroral regions of Jupiter

F. Allegrini, F. Bagenal, S. Bolton, J. Connerney, G. Clark, R. W. Ebert, T. K. Kim, W. S. Kurth, S. Levin, P. Louarn, B. Mauk, D. J. McComas, C. Pollock, D. Ranquist, M. Reno, J. R. Szalay, M. F. Thomsen, P. Valek, S. Weidner, R. J. WilsonJ. L. Zink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We report on the first observations of 100 eV to 100 keV electrons over the auroral regions of Jupiter by the Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) on board the Juno mission. The focus is on the regions that were magnetically connected to the main auroral oval. Amongst the most remarkable features, JADE observed electron beams, mostly upward going but also some downward going in the south, at latitudes from ~69° to 72° and ~ −66° to −70° corresponding to M shells (“M” for magnetic) from ~18 to 54 and ~28 to 61, respectively. The beams were replaced by upward loss cones at lower latitudes. There was no evidence of strongly accelerated downward electrons analogous to the auroral “inverted Vs” at Earth. Rather, the presence of upward loss cones suggests a diffuse aurora process. The energy spectra resemble tails of distributions or power laws (suggestive of a stochastic acceleration process) but can also have some clear enhancements or even peaks generally between 1 and 10 keV. Electron intensities change on timescales of a second or less at times implying that auroral structures can be of the order of a few tens of kilometers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7131-7139
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 28 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Jovian electrons
  • auroral electrons
  • electron beams


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