Properties of Electrons Accelerated by the Ganymede-Magnetosphere Interaction: Survey of Juno High-Latitude Observations

J. Rabia, V. Hue, N. André, Q. Nénon, J. R. Szalay, F. Allegrini, A. H. Sulaiman, C. K. Louis, T. K. Greathouse, Y. Sarkango, D. Santos-Costa, M. Blanc, E. Penou, P. Louarn, R. W. Ebert, G. R. Gladstone, A. Mura, J. E.P. Connerney, S. J. Bolton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The encounter between the Jovian co-rotating plasma and Ganymede gives rise to electromagnetic waves that propagate along the magnetic field lines and accelerate particles by resonant or non-resonant wave-particle interaction. They ultimately precipitate into Jupiter's atmosphere and trigger auroral emissions. In this study, we use Juno/JADE, Juno/UVS data, and magnetic field line tracing to characterize the properties of electrons accelerated by the Ganymede-magnetosphere interaction in the far-field region. We show that the precipitating energy flux exhibits an exponential decay as a function of downtail distance from the moon, with an e-folding value of 29°, consistent with previous UV observations from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We characterize the electron energy distributions and show that two distributions exist. Electrons creating the Main Alfvén Wing (MAW) spot and the auroral tail always have broadband distribution and a mean characteristic energy of 2.2 keV while in the region connected to the Transhemispheric Electron Beam (TEB) spot the electrons are distributed non-monotonically, with a higher characteristic energy above 10 keV. Based on the observation of bidirectional electron beams, we suggest that Juno was located within the acceleration region during the 11 observations reported. We thus estimate that the acceleration region is extended, at least, between an altitude of 0.5 and 1.3 Jupiter radius above the 1-bar surface. Finally, we estimate the size of the interaction region in the Ganymede orbital plane using far-field measurements. These observations provide important insights for the study of particle acceleration processes involved in moon-magnetosphere interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2024JA032604
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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