Juno observations of spot structures and a split tail in Io-induced aurorae on Jupiter

The instrument on board of the Juno spacecraft unveils the secret of the moon's imprints in the Jovian system: the "Io" moon emission exhibits a swirling pattern, while Jupiter's greatest moon, "Ganymede", projects a double auroral shadow whose precise shape had never been previously observed

A. Mura, A. Adriani, J. E. P. Connerney, S. Bolton, F. Altieri, F. Bagenal, B. Bonfond, B.M. Dinelli, J-C. Gérard, T. Greathouse, D. Grodent, S. Levin, B. Mauk, M.L. Moriconi, J. Saur, J. H. Waite Jr., M. Amoroso12, A. Cicchetti1, F. Fabiano, G. Filacchione, D. Grassi, A. Migliorini, R. Noschese, A. Olivieri, G. Piccioni, C. Plainaki, G. Sindoni, R. Sordini, F. Tosi, D. Turrini
Juno observations of spot structures and a split tail in Io-induced aurorae on Jupiter
Science  05 Jul 2018: eaat1450 DOI: 10.1126/science.aat1450


Jupiter’s aurorae are produced in its upper atmosphere when incoming high-energy electrons precipitate along the planet's magnetic field lines. A northern and a southern main auroral oval are visible, surrounded by small emission features associated with the Galilean moons. We present infrared observations, obtained with the Juno spacecraft, showing that in the case of Io, this emission exhibits a swirling pattern that is similar in appearance to a von Kármán vortex street. Well downstream of the main auroral spots the extended tail is split in two. Both of Ganymede’s footprints also appear as a pair of emission features, which may provide a remote measure of Ganymede’s magnetosphere. These features suggest that magnetohydrodynamic interaction between Jupiter and its moon is more complex than previously anticipated.