An alternative interpretation of Jupiter's “plasmapause”

M. Neugebauer, A. Eviatar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has recently been suggested that Io is an important source of ions for the plasma detected by Pioneer 10 in the inner magnetosphere of Jupiter. Assuming this to be true, we show that near the orbit of Io the central collector of the Pioneer‐10 plasma instrument could detect only inwardly diffusing ions created at a radial distance greater than that of the spacecraft. The rapid decrease in ion density observed beyond Io's orbit is attributed, at least partially, to this effect and thus may not represent a real plasma boundary such as a "plasmapause." Instead, the drop in observed ion density could correspond to a decrease in the density of Io‐associated neutral particles orbiting Jupiter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-710
Number of pages3
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume3
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1976

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