Remote sensing of the Io torus plasma ribbon using natural radio occultation of the Jovian radio emissions
Abstract. We study the Jovian hectometric (HOM) emissions recorded by the RPWS (Radio and Plasma Wave Science) experiment onboard the Cassini spacecraft during its Jupiter flyby. We analyze the attenuation band associated with the intensity extinction of HOM radiation. This phenomenon is interpreted as a refraction effect of the Jovian hectometric emission inside the Io plasma torus. This attenuation band was regularly observed during periods of more than 5 months, from the beginning of October 2000 to the end of March 2001. We estimate for this period the variation of the electron density versus the central meridian longitude (CML). We find a clear local time dependence. Hence the electron density was not higher than 5.0 × 104 cm−3 during 2 months, when the spacecraft approached the planet on the dayside. In the late afternoon and evening sectors, the electron density increases to 1.5 × 105 cm−3 and reach a higher value at some specific occasions. Additionally, we show that ultraviolet and hectometric wavelength observations have common features related to the morphology of the Io plasma torus. The maxima of enhancements/attenuations of UV/HOM observations occur close to the longitudes of the tip of the magnetic dipole in the southern hemisphere (20° CML) and in the northern hemisphere (200° CML), respectively. This is a significant indication about the importance of the Jovian magnetic field as a physical parameter in the coupling process between Jupiter and the Io satellite.