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Ganymede and Jupiter

12 January 2023
Astronomy, Electromagnetism

At https://phys.org/news/2023-01-scientists-evidence-magnetic-reconnection-ganymede.html … in 2021 NASAs Juno spacecraft flew close to Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon, and witnessed evidence of magnetic reconnection – or what has been interpreted as magnetic reconnection, a mainstream plank. A study of the evidence has recently been undertaken in order to look at the electron and ion particles as the magnetic fields of both Jupiter and Ganymede, merged, snapped and reorientated, heating and accelerating the charged particles. They say ‘we interpreted the presence of accelerated electrons travelling along the magnetic field of Ganymede’s magnetopause as evidence that magnetic reconnections were occurring’ … but see further at https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL099775 .. and published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment [JADE] onboard Juno observed enhanced electron fluxes, including accelerated magnetic field aligned electrons. Reconnection as observed by Juno is thought to be related to the generation of Ganymede’s aurora. We are also told the accelerated electrons observed by JADE are similar to those observed by NASAs Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft during reconnection at the earth’s magnetopause. Dr Stephen Fusilier, co author, said it was one of the exciting results from the Ganymede flyby. Despite big differences between Ganymede and Earth therfe is a commonality in the process of magnetic reconnection.

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