This is a drawing of the magnetosphere of Jupiter.
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Windows to the Universe original artwork
An Overview of Jupiter's Magnetosphere
Jupiter's magnetosphere is a unique object in the solar system. It is the biggest object in the entire solar system. Not only is it big enough to contain all of Jupiter's moons, but the sun itself could also fit inside. It extends past the orbit of Saturn, and Saturn itself sometimes passes through it. If it could be seen at night, it would be as big in the sky as the full moon.
Jupiter's magnetosphere is not only big but enormously powerful as well. Enough power is generated within the magnetosphere to manage 10 major cities on Earth. This power is dissipated in the atmosphere via the Jovian aurora.
The source of the magnetosphere is the magnetic field generated in the interior of Jupiter. Unlike the Earth, Jupiter's magnetic field has a strong quadrupole component. This component affects the shape and structure of Jupiter's magnetic field.
The motion of particles in the magnetosphere is both similar and different from those of particles in the Earth's magnetosphere due to Jupiter's giant plasmasphere and the donut-shaped cloud (torus) which circulates with Io inside the magnetosphere.
Jupiter's magnetosphere is a powerful radio source, just as the Earth's magnetosphere is. Radio emissions and other waves which come from Jupiter include whistler waves, chorus and hiss.
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