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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 31, issue 10
Ann. Geophys., 31, 1619–1630, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-31-1619-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 31, 1619–1630, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-31-1619-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 02 Oct 2013

Regular paper | 02 Oct 2013

Electron acceleration at Jupiter: input from cyclotron-resonant interaction with whistler-mode chorus waves

E. E. Woodfield1, R. B. Horne1, S. A. Glauert1, J. D. Menietti2, and Y. Y. Shprits3,4,5 E. E. Woodfield et al.
  • 1British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, USA
  • 3Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 4Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 5University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract. Jupiter has the most intense radiation belts of all the outer planets. It is not yet known how electrons can be accelerated to energies of 10 MeV or more. It has been suggested that cyclotron-resonant wave-particle interactions by chorus waves could accelerate electrons to a few MeV near the orbit of Io. Here we use the chorus wave intensities observed by the Galileo spacecraft to calculate the changes in electron flux as a result of pitch angle and energy diffusion. We show that, when the bandwidth of the waves and its variation with L are taken into account, pitch angle and energy diffusion due to chorus waves is a factor of 8 larger at L-shells greater than 10 than previously shown. We have used the latitudinal wave intensity profile from Galileo data to model the time evolution of the electron flux using the British Antarctic Survey Radiation Belt (BAS) model. This profile confines intense chorus waves near the magnetic equator with a peak intensity at ∼5° latitude. Electron fluxes in the BAS model increase by an order of magnitude for energies around 3 MeV. Extending our results to L = 14 shows that cyclotron-resonant interactions with chorus waves are equally important for electron acceleration beyond L = 10. These results suggest that there is significant electron acceleration by cyclotron-resonant interactions at Jupiter contributing to the creation of Jupiter's radiation belts and also increasing the range of L-shells over which this mechanism should be considered.

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