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Imaging Observations of Jupiter's Sodium Magneto-Nebula During the Ulysses Encounter

Michael Mendillo, Brian Flynn and Jeffrey Baumgardner
Science
New Series, Vol. 257, No. 5076 (Sep. 11, 1992), pp. 1510-1512
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2879934
Page Count: 3
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Imaging Observations of Jupiter's Sodium Magneto-Nebula During the Ulysses Encounter
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Abstract

Jupiter's great sodium nebula represents the largest visible structure traversed by the Ulysses spacecraft during its encounter with the planet in February 1992. Ground-based imaging conducted on Mount Haleakala, Hawaii, revealed a nebula that extended to at least ±300 Jovian radii (spanning ∼50 million kilometers); it was somewhat smaller in scale and less bright than previously observed. Analysis of observations and results of modeling studies suggest reduced volcanic activity on the moon lo, higher ion temperatures in the plasma torus, lower total plasma content in the torus, and fast neutral atomic clouds along the Ulysses inbound trajectory through the magnetosphere. Far fewer neutrals were encountered by the spacecraft along its postencounter, out-of-ecliptic trajectory.

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