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Gyro-resonant electron acceleration at Jupiter

Horne, Richard B.; Thorne, Richard M.; Glauert, Sarah A.; Menietti, J. Douglas; Shprits, Yuri Y.; Gurnett, Donald A.. 2008 Gyro-resonant electron acceleration at Jupiter. Nature Physics, 4 (4). 301-304. 10.1038/nphys897

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Abstract/Summary

According to existing theory, electrons are accelerated up to ultra-relativistic energies(1) inside Jupiter's magnetic field by betatron and Fermi processes as a result of radial diffusion towards the planet and conservation of the first two adiabatic invariants(2-4). Recently, it has been shown that gyro-resonant electron acceleration by whistler-mode waves(5,6) is a major, if not dominant(7), process for accelerating electrons inside the Earth's outer radiation zone, and has redefined our concept for producing the Van Allen radiation belts(8). Here, we present a survey of data from the Galileo spacecraft at Jupiter, which shows that intense whistler-mode waves are observed outside the orbit of the moon Io and, using Fokker-Planck simulations, are strong enough to accelerate electrons to relativistic energies on timescales comparable to that for electron transport. Gyroresonant acceleration is most effective between 6 and 12 jovian radii (R-j) and provides the missing step in the production of intense synchrotron radiation from Jupiter(1,9).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/nphys897
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Sun Earth Connections
ISSN: 1745-2473
NORA Subject Terms: Physics
Atmospheric Sciences
Space Sciences
Date made live: 14 Jan 2011 17:45
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/11524

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