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Magnetospheric Science Objectives of the Juno Mission

Abstract

In July 2016, NASA’s Juno mission becomes the first spacecraft to enter polar orbit of Jupiter and venture deep into unexplored polar territories of the magnetosphere. Focusing on these polar regions, we review current understanding of the structure and dynamics of the magnetosphere and summarize the outstanding issues. The Juno mission profile involves (a) a several-week approach from the dawn side of Jupiter’s magnetosphere, with an orbit-insertion maneuver on July 6, 2016; (b) a 107-day capture orbit, also on the dawn flank; and (c) a series of thirty 11-day science orbits with the spacecraft flying over Jupiter’s poles and ducking under the radiation belts. We show how Juno’s view of the magnetosphere evolves over the year of science orbits. The Juno spacecraft carries a range of instruments that take particles and fields measurements, remote sensing observations of auroral emissions at UV, visible, IR and radio wavelengths, and detect microwave emission from Jupiter’s radiation belts. We summarize how these Juno measurements address issues of auroral processes, microphysical plasma physics, ionosphere-magnetosphere and satellite-magnetosphere coupling, sources and sinks of plasma, the radiation belts, and the dynamics of the outer magnetosphere. To reach Jupiter, the Juno spacecraft passed close to the Earth on October 9, 2013, gaining the necessary energy to get to Jupiter. The Earth flyby provided an opportunity to test Juno’s instrumentation as well as take scientific data in the terrestrial magnetosphere, in conjunction with ground-based and Earth-orbiting assets.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge all the outstanding contributions from the many people who made the Juno mission a reality. We thank Philippe Louarn (IRAP, Toulouse, France) for assistance and Tom Stallard (University of Leicester) for the IR image in Fig. 17. FB would like to thank Steve Bartlett for making several of the graphics, Sarah Vines (SWRI) for proofing, plus others at the University of Colorado for their help with producing materials: Laura Brower, Emma Bunnell, Dinesh Costlow, Frank Crary, Adam Shinn, Christopher Fowler, Drake Ranquist, Andrew Sturner and Rob Wilson. Further information and plots for Juno orbits can be found at http://lasp.colorado.edu/mop/resources/juno/.

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Appendix: Jovian Magnetospheric Coordinate Systems

Appendix: Jovian Magnetospheric Coordinate Systems

Below we describe the five main coordinate systems of potential use by the Juno MWG. But first we need to clarify the fiducial value of the radius of Jupiter. Dessler (1983) declared use of the value R J=71400 km in the appendix of Physics of the Jovian Magnetosphere. A full description of the planetary parameters and coordinate systems is provided in Appendix 2 of Jupiter: Planet, Satellites, Magnetosphere (Bagenal et al. 2004) where the equatorial radius at the 1-bar level is given as R J=71492±4 km (Lindal et al. 1981). The JPL navigation team that provides Juno trajectory information uses R J=71492 km, the value we propose for all Juno MWG activities throughout the mission. Note that because of the rapid rotation of the planet, the polar radius of Jupiter is much less (66854 km).

1.1 A.1 Jupiter System III (S3LH, S3RH)

This system rotates with the planet at the sidereal System III (1965) spin period of 9h 55m 29.711s =9.92492 hours (or angular velocity of 1.76×10−4 rad/s=870.536/day). This spin period was originally based on ground-based radio observations and the longitude (λ III) was defined to increase with time, as observed from Earth. The problem with this system is that it is a left-handed coordinate system (which we label S3LH). Since many prefer right-hand coordinate systems, we also define a RH system (S3RH) where the longitude (λ RH=360λ III) decreases with time as viewed from Earth. These two variations on Jovian System III are shown in Fig. 33. The location of the Prime Meridian (the meridian plane in both systems and where both longitudes are zero) is defined in terms of the Central Meridian Longitude (i.e. Earth-Jupiter vector) on a specific date in 1965. S3LH uses latitude (θ III) while S3RH uses colatitude (θ RH).

Fig. 33
figure 33

(a) Jupiter System III (1965) coordinates (S3LH). The Z-axis is defined by the spin axis of Jupiter. The X-axis is defined by 0 latitude on the System III longitude λ III=0 (prime meridian). The Y-axis completes the orthogonal left handed system. Latitude (θ III) is defined from the equator. X=0 latitude, Prime Meridian, Y=X×Z, Z = Jupiter spin axis. (b) Right-handed System III. This coordinate system has the same basis as the left-handed System III except that longitude is (λ RH) decreases with time and co-latitude (θ RH) is used. X=90 colatitude, Prime Meridian, Y=Z×X, Z = Jupiter spin axis

Note that Higgins et al. (1996, 1997) proposed, based on 35 years of radio observations of Jupiter, that the rotation rate of the planet interior maybe ∼25 ms shorter than the System III (1965) rotation rate (see also discussion in relation to magnetic field models by Russell et al. 2001; Yu and Russell 2009; Hess et al. 2011). A 25 ms shorter spin period amounts to just 0.2/yr which is negligible over the duration of the Juno mission but is significant for comparing Voyager and Juno epochs. Since this is a minimal change in the rotation rate the IAU and the Juno project have decided not to change the official System III rotation rate to limit confusion between systems and to allow easy comparison of data sets from different epochs.

Please also note that the rotation rate stated in appendix of the Bagenal et al. (2004) Jupiter book is incorrect.

1.2 A.2 Jupiter Magnetic (JMAG)

This system is the System III (RH) but is tilted by the 9.5 of the dipole approximation to the magnetic field of Jupiter, tilted towards λ III=200.8 or λ RH=159.2 (Fig. 34). This tilt is based on the VIP4 model (Connerney et al. 1998, 2014, this issue). The magnetic longitude is defined with respect to the meridian where the magnetic and geographic equators cross (where θ III=0 and θ RH=θ MAG=90) at λ III=290.8 or λ RH=69.2. Since most models tend to work in right-handed coordinates, we only have a right-handed magnetic system.

Fig. 34
figure 34

Jupiter magnetic coordinates. This system rotates with Jupiter but has the Z-axis aligned with the magnetic dipole, M. The X-axis is aligned with the intersection of the magnetic and geographic equators at λ III=290.8 or λ RH=69.2. X=69.2 from Prime Meridian (where λ III=λ RH=0), Y=Z×X, Z = Jupiter dipole axis

Fig. 35
figure 35

This system has the Z-axis aligned with Jupiter’s spin axis but does not spin with the planet. Instead the X-axis is fixed in the plane containing the spin axis and the Jupiter-Sun vector (S). X=Y×Z, Y=S×Z (i.e. in the equator), Z = Jupiter’s spin axis

Fig. 36
figure 36

This system has the X-axis towards the Sun (S) and the Z-axis perpendicular to Jupiter’s orbital vector (V orb). This puts Z normal to Jupiter’s orbital plane. X=S, Y=Z×X, Z=V orb×X

1.3 A.3 Jupiter-Sun-Equator (JSE)

This system is Jupiter-centered, with the Z-axis aligned with the planet’s spin axis but does not spin with the planet (Fig. 35). The X-axis is in the half-plane containing the spin axis and the Jupiter-Sun vector.

1.4 A.4 Jupiter-Sun-Orbit (JSO)

This system aligns the X-axis with the Jupiter-Sun vector. The Y-axis is in the plane containing the Jupiter-Sun vector and the orbital vector of Jupiter (Fig. 36).

1.5 A.5 Jupiter Heliospheric (JH)

Since Juno measures solar wind conditions surrounding Jupiter’s magnetosphere we need a coordinate system that is based on heliospheric properties. This system is Jupiter-centered and the X-axis is the Jupiter-Sun vector, the Y-axis is the solar equator, and the Z-axis completes the system. This is the heliocentric system centered on Jupiter.

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Bagenal, F., Adriani, A., Allegrini, F. et al. Magnetospheric Science Objectives of the Juno Mission. Space Sci Rev 213, 219–287 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-014-0036-8

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