Revealing the source of Jupiter’s x-ray auroral flares

Yao, Zhonghua, Dunn, William R., Woodfield, Emma E., Clark, George, Mauk, Barry H., Ebert, Robert W., Grodent, Denis, Bonfond, Bertrand, Pan, Dongxiao, Rae, Jonathan, Ni, Binbin, Guo, Ruilong, Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella, Wibisono, Affelia D., Rodriguez, Pedro, Kotsiaros, Stavros, Ness, Jan-Uwe, Allegrini, Frederic, Kurth, William S., Gladstone, G. Randall, Kraft, Ralph, Sulaiman, Ali H., Manners, Harry, Desai, Ravindra T. and Bolton, Scott J. (2021) Revealing the source of Jupiter’s x-ray auroral flares. Science Advances, 7 (28). eabf0851. ISSN 2375-2548

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Jupiter’s rapidly rotating, strong magnetic field provides a natural laboratory that is key to understanding the dynamics of high-energy plasmas. Spectacular auroral x-ray flares are diagnostic of the most energetic processes governing magnetospheres but seemingly unique to Jupiter. Since their discovery 40 years ago, the processes that produce Jupiter’s x-ray flares have remained unknown. Here, we report simultaneous in situ satellite and space-based telescope observations that reveal the processes that produce Jupiter’s x-ray flares, showing surprising similarities to terrestrial ion aurora. Planetary-scale electromagnetic waves are observed to modulate electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves, periodically causing heavy ions to precipitate and produce Jupiter’s x-ray pulses. Our findings show that ion aurorae share common mechanisms across planetary systems, despite temporal, spatial, and energetic scales varying by orders of magnitude.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research information: Natural Environment Research Council (NE/P017150/1, NE/P017185/1, NE/V002554/1, and NE/V002724/1) Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/S000496/1ST/S000240/1) Royal Society (NAF/R1/191047) National Natural Science Foundation of China (4207421142025404) SAO fellowship to Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics and by European Space Agency (4000120752/17/NL/MH) Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA17010201) B-type Strategic Priority Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB41000000) The pre-research projects on Civil Aerospace Technologies (D020308, D020104 and D020303) IGGCAS (IGGCAS- 201904)
Subjects: F300 Physics
F500 Astronomy
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2021 11:06
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 10:06

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