Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 417–429 | Cite as

Wave propagation in the magnetosphere of Jupiter

  • H. B. Liemohn


The magnetosphere of Jupiter has been the subject of extensive research in recent years due to its detectable radio emissions. Observations in the decimetric radio band have been particular helpful in ascertaining the general shape of the Jovian magnetic field, which is currently believed to be a dipole with minor perturbations. Although there is no direct evidence for thermal plasma in the magnetosphere of Jupiter, theoretical considerations about the physical processes that must occur in the ionosphere and magnetosphere surrounding Jupiter have lead to estimates of the thermal plasma distribution. These models of the Jovian magnetic field and thermal plasma distribution, specify the characteristic plasma and cyclotron frequencies in the magnetosplasma and thereby provide a basis for estimating thelocal electromagnetic and hydromagnetic noise around Jupiter. Spatial analogs of the well-known Clemmow-Mullaly-Allis (CMA) diagrams have been constructed to identify the loci of electron and ion resonances and cutoffs for the different field and plasma models. Regions of reflection, mode coupling, and probable amplification are readily identified. The corresponding radio noise properties may be estimated qualitatively on the basis of these various electromagnetic and hydromagnetic wave mode regions. Frequency bands and regions of intense natural noise may be estimated. On the basis of the models considered, the radio noise properties around Jupiter are quite different from those encountered in the magnetosphere around the Earth. Wave particle interactions are largely confined to the immediate vicinity of the zenographic equatorial plane and guided propagation from one hemisphere to the other apparently does not occur, except for hydromagnetic modes of propagation. The characteristics of these local signals are indicative of the physical processes occurring in the Jovian magnetosphere. Thus, as a remote sensing tool, their observation will be a vital asset in the exploration of Jupiter.


Radio Emission Mode Coupling Thermal Plasma Cyclotron Frequency Plasma Model 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. B. Liemohn
    • 1
  1. 1.Boeing Aerospace GroupSpace and Planetary Environment Lab.SeattleUSA

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