Do, 11.04.2024 14:00

Colloquium: The volcanic moon Io and its role in Jupiter's magnetosphere

Lorenz Roth (KTH, Stockholm, Sweden) will report on the magnetospheric environment of Jupiter and its moon Io, Io's volcanic activity, and its feedback on the plasma.

Since the Voyager mission flybys in 1979, we have known the moon Io to be extremely volcanically active as well as to be the main source of plasma in the vast magnetosphere of Jupiter. While the volcanic activity is generally dynamic and variable, the magnetospheric plasma environment of Io is stable on timescales from days to months. However, various observations suggest that occasionally (roughly 1-2 times per decade) the plasma environment undergoes major transient changes over several weeks, apparently overcoming any stabilizing mechanisms. Such events are commonly explained by some kind of change of Io’s volcanic activity that triggers a chain of reactions changing the plasma torus state via a net increase in mass supply. However, it remains unknown what kind of volcanic event(s) this might be and what processes could enable such a change in the otherwise stable system. I review the current knowledge on Io’s volcanic activity, atmosphere and the magnetospheric neutral and plasma environment in view of their roles in the mass transfer from Io to the plasma torus and magnetosphere. At the end, I will briefly discuss what current and future space missions (Juno, JUICE, Europa Clipper) might contribute to address this topic. 




IWF Colloquium series

Prof. Lorenz Roth

11.4.2024, 14.00 Uhr

Jupiter U.a.4  in-person