Modeling Ion Conic Formation in Io's Auroral Footprint

A. Glocer, K. Garcia-Sage, A. Sulaiman, G. Clark, J. R. Szalay, Y. Sarkango, J. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energetic ions outflowing from Jupiter's atmosphere was observed during Juno's 12th perijove crossing (PJ12) in the vicinity of Io's auroral footprint and reported by prior studies. It was hypothesized that Wave-Particle Interactions (WPI) with ion cyclotron waves observed coincident with the ion outflow may be responsible for the heating and subsequent outflow. This study uses numerical simulation and data model comparison to test whether ion cyclotron resonant heating is indeed a plausible mechanism to explain the intense ion outflow observed. Our simulations assume that the wave heating is of limited duration due to Io's footprint motion. The simulations are moreover compared to the previously published Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instruments (JEDI) observations at high energies, and the lower energy Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) observations that were not previously reported. We find that the ion cyclotron resonant heating mechanism can indeed lead to ion conic formation and strong vertical transport under certain assumptions about the distribution of wave power with altitude. We also find that the ion outflow is energized quickly with very rapid formation of the ion conic distribution. The implications of the intense ion outflow are also examined and it is found that such strong wave heating can lead to a depletion of the topside ionosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2023JA032322
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • ion outflow from Jupiter


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