Temperature anisotropy of the Jovian sulfur nebula

Aharon Eviatar*, George L. Siscoe, Yuri Mekler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We discuss the apparent paradox between the reported observation of a 3-eV gyration energy of Jupiter's ionized sulfur nebula and its observed thickness. We present an observation of the thickness of the cloud taken nearly edge on and show that this implies a large bounce-averaged anisotropy of the sulfur in temperature, T{norm of matrix} ≫ T. From these observations, we construct a self-consistent model of the sulfur nebula in which the sulfur ions are injected by Io as ions and remain sufficiently collisionless in the magnetosphere to maintain the anisotropy for a time longer than a characteristic diffusion time. We also show that the proton-electron plasma is collisionally thermalized and provides an adequate means of tapping the rotational energy of the planet to provide the power radiated in the sulfur lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-458
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1979
Externally publishedYes


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