This image shows the torus of material around the moon Io.
Click on image for full size
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 cloud of particles is called a torus.
Eventually all the particles in the cloud will be turned to ions. The presence of ions causes a number of noticable effects in a magnetosphere:
- slows down the magnetic field as it goes around the moon
- may drive currents
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
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. Particles enter...more
Jupiter's magnetosphere is very special. It is the biggest thing in the entire solar system. Not only is it big enough to hold all of Jupiter's moons, but the sun itself could fit inside. It goes all...more
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
Jupiter's magnetosphere is very pointed and bullet-shaped, as shown in this picture, because of the nature of how it is created. The magnetosphere has many parts, such as the bow shock, magnetospheath,...more
Radio noises are a signature of activity within the magnetosphere. There are many kinds of radio waves in Jupiter's environment. These are: DAM DAM is the most intense of Jupiter's radio signals. It is...more
Anthony Wesley is an astronomer in Australia. One night in July 2009, Wesley noticed a dark spot on Jupiter that hadn't been there before. He had discovered the remains of a huge impact on Jupiter! A comet...more
The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more