A Numerical Model for Alfven Waves in Jupiter's Magnetosphere



The ionospheric Alfvén resonator (IAR) is a structure formed by the rapid decrease in the plasma density above a planetary ionosphere. This results in a corresponding increase in the Alfvén speed that can provide partial reflection of Alfvén waves. At Earth, the IAR on auroral field lines is associated with the broadband acceleration of auroral particles, sometimes termed the Alfvenic aurora. This arises since phase mixing in the IAR reduces the perpendicular wavelength of the Alfvén waves, which enhances the parallel electric field due to electron inertia. This parallel electric field fluctuates at frequencies of 0.1-20.0 Hz, comparable to the electron transit time through the region, leading to the broadband acceleration. The prevalence of such broadband acceleration at Jupiter suggests that a similar process can occur in the Jovian IAR. A numerical model of Alfvén wave propagation in the Jovian IAR has been developed to investigate these interactions. This model describes the evolution of the electric and magnetic fields in the low-altitude region close to Jupiter that is sampled during Juno’s perijove passes. In particular, the model relates measurement of magnetic fields below the ion cyclotron frequency from the MAG and Waves instruments on Juno and electric fields from Waves to the associated parallel electric fields that can accelerate auroral particles.

A numerical code to describe the propagation of Alfven waves in Jupiter's magnetosphere. This code, written in Fortran, is a finite difference, time-domain code that solves Maxwell's equations in a plasma.

Funding information
Sponsorship: NASA 80NSSC20K1269; NSF AGS-1840891
Date made availableAug 18 2021
PublisherData Repository for the University of Minnesota

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