Observations of electron plasma waves upstream of the Jovian bow shock

P. Canu, N. Cornilleau-Wehrlin, C. de Villedary, P. J. Kellogg, C. C. Harvey, R. J. MacDowall

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The Ulysses spacecraft encountered the planet Jupiter in February 1992, on its journey towards high heliospheric latitude. During the approach to the planet, as well as on the outbound pass, while receding from the Jovian bow shock, the Plasma Frequency Receiver that is part of the Unified Radio and Plasma Wave experiment (URAP) recorded bursts of plasma waves in the frequency range of a few kHz. These emissions, first observed by the PWS experiment onboard the Voyager spacecraft, have been identified as upstream electron plasma waves. In this paper, we present the first analysis of the characteristics of these emissions, which are very similar to those found in the Earth's electron foreshock, upstream of the Earth's bow shock. These bursty emissions, with a peak frequency very close to the local electron plasma frequency Fpe, have a typical electric field amplitude in the range 0.01-0.1 mV m-1, with some bursts above 1 mV m-1. The frequency bandwidth over which significant power can be found above the instrument background noise ranges from below 0.2 Fpc to about 2 Fpc. On the basis of our present knowledge of similar emissions observed at Earth, we suggest that the broadband emissions are triggered by suprathermal (a few tens of eV) electrons, streaming back from Jupiter's bow shock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-822
Number of pages12
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1993


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