A New Model of Jupiter's Magnetic Field at the Completion of Juno's Prime Mission

J. E. P. Connerney, S. Timmins, R. J. Oliversen, J. R. Espley, J. L. Joergensen, S. Kotsiaros, P. S. Joergensen, J. M. G. Merayo, M. Herceg, J. Bloxham, K. M. Moore, A. Mura, A. Moirano, S. J. Bolton, S. M. Levin

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    A spherical harmonic model of the magnetic field of Jupiter is obtained from vector magnetic field observations acquired by the Juno spacecraft during 32 of its first 33 polar orbits. These Prime Mission orbits sample Jupiter's magnetic field nearly uniformly in longitude (∼11° separation) as measured at equator crossing. The planetary magnetic field is represented with a degree 30 spherical harmonic and the external field is approximated near the origin with a simple external spherical harmonic of degree 1. Partial solution of the underdetermined inverse problem using generalized inverse techniques yields a model (“JRM33”) of the planetary magnetic field with spherical harmonic coefficients reasonably well determined through degree and order 13. Useful information regarding the field extends through degree 18, well fit by a Lowes' spectrum with a dynamo core radius of 0.81 Rj, presumably the outer radius of the convective metallic hydrogen region. This new model provides a most detailed view of a planetary dynamo and evidence of advection of the magnetic field by deep zonal winds in the vicinity of the Great Blue Spot (GBS), an isolated and intense patch of flux near Jupiter's equator. Comparison of the JRM33 and JRM09 models suggests secular variation of the field in the vicinity of the GBS during Juno's nearly 5 years of operation in orbit about Jupiter. The observed secular variation is consistent with the penetration of zonal winds to a depth of ∼3,500 km where a flow velocity of ∼0.04 ms−1 is required to match the observations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2021JE007055
    JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
    Issue number2
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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