A summary of observational records on periodicities above the rotational period in the Jovian magnetosphere
- Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany
Abstract. The Jovian magnetosphere is a very dynamic system. The plasma mass-loading from the moon Io and the fast planetary rotation lead to regular release of mass from the Jovian magnetosphere and to a change of the magnetic topology. These regular variations, most commonly on several (2.5–4) days scale, were derived from various data sets obtained by different spacecraft missions and instruments ranging from auroral images to in situ measurements of magnetospheric particles. Specifically, ion measurements from the Galileo spacecraft represent the periodicities, very distinctively, namely the periodic thinning of the plasma sheet and subsequent dipolarization, and explosive mass release occurring mainly during the transition between these two phases. We present a review of these periodicities, particularly concentrating on those observed in energetic particle data. The most distinct periodicities are observed for ions of sulfur and oxygen. The periodic topological change of the Jovian magnetosphere, the associated mass-release process and auroral signatures can be interpreted as a global magnetospheric instability with analogies to the two step concept of terrestrial substorms. Different views on the triggering mechanism of this magnetospheric instability are discussed.