Bonn 2010 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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EP: Fachverband Extraterrestrische Physik

EP 9: Planets and Small Bodies II

EP 9.5: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 17. März 2010, 09:45–10:00, AKM

Simulation of Io's auroral emission in Eclipse — •Lorenz Roth1, Joachim Saur1, Kurt Retherford2, Darrell Strobel3, and John Spencer41Institut für Geophysik und Meteorologie, Universität zu Köln — 2Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas, USA — 3Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA — 4Southwest Reseach Institute, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Jupiter's moon Io is embedded in a dense plasma environment. Due to Jupiter's fast rotation the corotating plasma particles constantly flow past the moon. This flow of electrons and ions causes a complex plasma interaction and triggers auroral emission in the moon's atmosphere. With a three-dimensional two-fluid plasma model we simulate the plasma interaction of Io and its atmosphere-ionosphere with the Jovian magnetosphere. By using the simulated electron density and temperature profiles we are able to calculate the auroral radiation, which is generated in the moons atmosphere by collisions with magnetospheric electrons.

During the Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons spacecraft in February 2007 Io's aurora has been observed by the on board long-range visible-spectrum camera (LORRI) and simultaneously by the Hubble Space Telescope. The observations revealed a complex emission pattern, where local volcanic plumes appear in the ultraviolet and visible radiation. By comparison of the observed intensity and morphology with our simulated emission we derive constraints for the distribution and density of Io's atmosphere and some abundant elements.

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