EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling and Aurora at Jupiter and Saturn

Emma Bunce
Emma Bunce
  • University of Leicester, School of Physics and Astronomy, Leicester, United Kingdom

I will review the main magnetosphere-ionosphere (MI) coupling mechanisms thought to play a role at Jupiter and at Saturn. We are interested in the extent to which the magnetospheres are driven by internal processes (plasma sources, planetary rotation) versus external mechanisms (solar wind, interplanetary magnetic field). At both planets, momentum is mostly transferred via the rotating planetary magnetic field from the ionosphere to the magnetosphere. The solar wind can also play a role in driving dynamics, e.g. via the interaction of corotating interaction regions (CIRs). The NASA/ESA Cassini Huygens mission revealed that Saturn’s system also has a unique feature driven by the ionosphere known as “planetary period oscillations”. These phenomena interact with the effects of the solar wind to produce complex MI coupling signatures. The NASA Juno mission has provided the first in situ evidence of MI coupling in Jupiter's polar magnetosphere. I will compare the similarities and differences between observation and theory discovered thus far.

How to cite: Bunce, E.: Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling and Aurora at Jupiter and Saturn, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11375,, 2022.