Jovian High-Latitude Ionospheric Ions: Juno In Situ Observations

P. W. Valek, F. Allegrini, F. Bagenal, S. J. Bolton, J. E.P. Connerney, R. W. Ebert, T. K. Kim, S. M. Levin, P. Louarn, D. J. Mccomas, J. R. Szalay, M. F. Thomsen, R. J. Wilson

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The low-altitude, high-velocity trajectory of the Juno spacecraft enables the Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment to make the first in situ observations of the high-latitude ionospheric plasma. Ions are observed to energies below 1 eV. The high-latitude ionospheric ions are observed simultaneously with a loss cone in the magnetospheric ions, suggesting precipitating magnetospheric ions contribute to the heating of the upper ionosphere, raising the scale height, and pushing ionospheric ions to altitudes of 0.5 RJ above the planet where they are observed by Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment. The source of the magnetospheric ions is tied to the Io torus and plasma sheet, indicated by the cutoff seen in both the magnetospheric and ionospheric plasma at the Io M-shells. Equatorward of the Io M-shell boundary, the ionospheric ions are not observed, indicating a drop in the scale height of the ionospheric ions at those latitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8663-8670
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Jupiter
  • high latitude
  • in situ
  • ionosphere
  • ions


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