Comparative Planetary Science
Connections between Jupiter's X-ray Aurora and the Solar Wind
William Dunn
G. Branduardi-Raymont, R. Elsner, P. Ford, A. Coates, L. Ray
Mullard Space Science Laboratory/UCL
Jupiter’s soft X-ray aurora [e.g: Gladstone et al. 2002, Branduardi-Raymont et al. 2008] has a source in the Jovian outer magnetosphere and has been found to be correlated with solar wind conditions [e.g: Kimura et al. 2016]. Periodic pulsations, changing auroral morphology, increased intensity and spectral signatures from changing precipitating ion populations are observed during the arrival of an interplanetary coronal mass ejection [Dunn et al. 2016]. However, the nature of the relationship between the Jovian magnetosphere and the solar wind remains in question. Identifying the physical drivers of the X-ray variation (possibilities include: magnetopause reconnection [e.g: Bunce et al. 2004; Elsner et al. 2005], Kelvin Helmholtz Instabilities [e.g: Kimura et al. 2016], magnetospheric compression [e.g: Dunn et al. 2016] or internally drivers [e.g: Cravens et al. 2003]) will help to constrain the extent to which solar wind-magnetosphere interactions at Earth differ to those at giant, rotationally-dominated systems, like Jupiter. This will have broad ramifications for planetary and exoplanetary science.

To better constrain the link between solar wind parameters and the spatial, spectral and temporal X-ray signatures, we analyse 6 Chandra and XMM-Newton observations from 2007. At the time of these observations, the New Horizons spacecraft was conducting in-situ measurements upstream of Jupiter. We compare the in-situ solar wind parameters with the X-ray aurora to better identify correlations and to constrain the physical drivers.

Progress permitting; we will also present initial results from an X-ray campaign this Summer, which coincides with the approach phase of NASA’s Juno mission.


16:30 - 18:00
EX - LT3 (320)