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Variability of Jupiter’s Synchrotron Radiation: Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) Observations - II

Presentation #350.06 in the session The Sun and the Solar System — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Variability of Jupiter’s Synchrotron Radiation: Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) Observations - II

The non-thermal component of Jupiter’s flux density at decimeter wavelengths measures the synchrotron radiation emitted by relativistic electrons, with energies up to tens of MeV, trapped in the Jovian radiation belts. Synchrotron radio emission remains the most useful diagnostic of the radiation belts, and a global picture is provided by ground-based observations.

Monitoring of the long-term variations of Jupiter’s Synchrotron Radiation (JSR) flux density is the key to understanding its correlation with solar activity, and solar wind in particular. The GAVRT (Goldstone-Apple Valley Radio Telescope) program operates two retired Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas, and as part of their K-12 program and Juno support, GAVRT has been collecting data to monitor JSR radio emission at 2280 MHz (13 cm wavelength). We present new results from August 2019 to December 2021 GAVRT monitoring observations. As viewed from Earth the JSR varies systematically (by about 10%) with Jupiter’s 9.9-hour rotation period, and our observations were typically much shorter than 9.9 hours. To estimate the daily flux density of JSR, we took advantage of recent progress in modeling the radiation belt, scaling individual observations by the predicted relative variation due to Jupiter’s rotation as viewed from Earth.

We discuss the JSR variability from 2015 to 2021, combining our results with previous GAVRT data. Our new results show a marked decrease (~1 Jy) in JSR flux density between 2018 and 2021, while earlier observations showed an increase from 2015 to 2018. These results are remarkably consistent with long-term variability shown by the simulations of Han et al. (2018) based on models driven by the solar wind ram pressure.

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