A Numerical Model for the Interaction of Io‐Generated Alfvén Waves With Jupiter's Magnetosphere and Ionosphere

R. L. Lysak, A. H. Sulaiman, F. Bagenal, F. Crary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The interaction of Io with the corotating magnetosphere of Jupiter is known to produce Alfvén wings that couple the moon to Jupiter's ionosphere. We present first results from a new numerical model to describe the propagation of these Alfvén waves in this system. The model is cast in magnetic dipole coordinates and includes a dense plasma torus that is centered around the centrifugal equator. Results are presented for two density models, showing the dependence of the interaction on the magnetospheric density. Model results are presented for the case when Io is near the centrifugal and magnetic equators as well as when Io is at its northernmost magnetic latitude. The effect of the conductance of Jupiter's ionosphere is considered, showing that a long auroral footprint tail is favored by high Pedersen conductance in the ionosphere. The current patterns in these cases show a U-shaped footprint due to the generation of field-aligned current on the Jupiter-facing and Jupiter-opposed sides of Io, which may be related to the structure in the auroral footprint seen in the infrared by Juno. A model for the development of parallel electric fields is introduced, indicating that the main auroral footprints of Io can generate parallel potentials of up to 100 kV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022JA031180
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors.


  • Alfven waves
  • Io-plasma interaction
  • Jovian magnetosphere
  • aurora
  • magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling
  • numerical modeling


Dive into the research topics of 'A Numerical Model for the Interaction of Io‐Generated Alfvén Waves With Jupiter's Magnetosphere and Ionosphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this