Mar 1, 2005
Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics
We exactly solved the problem of the interaction between the rotating magnetic field of Jupiter and the equatorial plasma disk formed by the gases flowing from the Jovian satellite Io. The disk is shown to expel the Jovian magnetic field in both directions, inward, toward Jupiter, compressing its dipole magnetic field, and outward. Jupiter spins up the disk up to velocities that correspond to nearly constant angular rotation, but with an angular frequency lower than the angular frequency of Jupiter itself. The radial velocity of the plasma in the disk approaches its azimuthal velocity. We determined the power of Jupiter’s rotational energy losses. Part of this energy is transferred to the disk, and the other part goes into heating the Jovian ionosphere. We show that the Pedersen surface conductivity of the Jovian ionosphere must have a lower limit to maintain the electric current that arises in the disk-rotating magnetic field system. This current in the Jovian magnetosphere flows only along the preferential magnetic surfaces that connect the inner and outer edges of the disk to the ionosphere.