When the solar wind hits Jupiter's magnetic field, it creates a long magnetotail trailing behind the planet that channels material out of the Jupiter system. The New Horizons spacecraft traversed the length of the jovian magnetotail to >2500 jovian radii (RJ; 1 RJ=71,400 kilometers), observing a high-temperature, multispecies population of energetic particles. Velocity dispersions, anisotropies, and compositional variation seen in the deep-tail (≳ 500 RJ) with a ∼3-day periodicity are similar to variations seen closer to Jupiter in Galileo data. The signatures suggest plasma streaming away from the planet and injection sites in the near-tail region (∼200 to 400 RJ) that could be related to magnetic reconnection events. The tail structure remains coherent at least until it reaches the magnetosheath at 1655 RJ.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - Oct 12 2007|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes