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This is an image of the aurora of Jupiter, with connecting field lines.
J. Connerney

Current Systems of Jupiter

Scientists are still studying Jupiter's currents to understand them completely. Currents in a magnetosphere are like arteries in the human body. They are the manifestation of particles being carried from one region to another. Currents are a very important part of the interaction of the solar wind, the magnetosphere, and a planet's atmosphere.

The most powerful currents in the magnetosphere are those which power the Jovian aurora. As shown in the figure, the Jovian aurora is thought to come from two sources, Field-Aligned currents (FAC's) from the moon Io, and from currents carrying particles from somewhere deeper in Jupiter's magnetotail.

If you would like to know a little bit more about current systems, why not look at current systems in the Earth's magnetosphere.


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The Io Torus

A satellite which has an atmosphere, such as Jupiter's moon Io, and which also is inside a magnetosphere (unlike the Earth's moon), will leave a cloud of particles behind as it orbits the planet. This...more

An Overview of the Parts of Jupiter's Magnetosphere

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Jupiter's Plasmasphere

Jupiter's magnetosphere is practically all plasmasphere. Jupiter's magnetosphere is filled with plasma. Most of the plasma comes from the donut-shaped cloud (torus) of material from Io. Besides ions and...more

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Impact on Jupiter - July 2009

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An Overview of the Evolution of Jupiter's Atmosphere

Atmospheres of the giant planets have definetely evolved from their formation out of the primitive solar nebula. How much they have evolved remains to be seen, however. Because of their enormous gravity,...more

Jupiter's Mesosphere

The mesosphere of Jupiter is a region of balance between warming and cooling. That essentially means that nothing happens there. Except for diffusion, the atmosphere is still. Upper reaches of the atmosphere,...more

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