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Towards a new global Jupiter Thermosphere Ionosphere Model (JTIM)

Presentation #309.02 in the session Giant Planet Magnetospheres, Ionospheres and Aurorae (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Towards a new global Jupiter Thermosphere Ionosphere Model (JTIM)

The exploration of Saturn by Cassini (2004-2017) and ground based as well as Earth orbiting telescopes have given us an unprecedented understanding of its coupled thermosphere-ionosphere system, allowing us to address key science topics surrounding the magnetosphere-atmosphere coupling, its seasonal and solar cycle variability, dynamics, neutral and ion composition and energetics. The observations were accompanied by the crucial numerical simulation work, including the global Saturn Thermosphere Ionosphere Model (STIM) [1,2,3,4] which has been an invaluable tool and been continuously updated to further expand the physical processes it addresses. Most recently, it is being used to address the crucial question of what atmospheric waves are present in the thermosphere/ionosphere system and how they affect the global dynamics and thermal structure [5]. The topics we are investigating on Saturn are universal and of interest to all giant planets, including Jupiter and also Uranus and Neptune.

Motivated by the Jupiter exploration by the ongoing Juno spacecraft and recently launchedJUICE spacecraft after its arrival in 2031, we have begun adapting our mature Saturn STIM code to represent Jupiter, benefiting from many inherited features and making key changes to the planet and magnetic field which are characteristic for Jupiter. We will present first calculations from the new JTIM model and make key comparisons with Saturn results from STIM, comparing and contrasting findings for both planets.


[1] Müller-Wodarg, I. C. F., Mendillo, M., Yelle, R. V., & Aylward, A. D. (2006). A global circulation model of Saturn’s thermosphere, Icarus, 180, 147–160

[2] Moore, L., Mendillo, M., Müller-Wodarg, I.C.F., Murr, D., 2004. Modeling of global variations and ring shadowing in Saturn’s ionosphere. Icarus 172, 503–520

[3] Müller-Wodarg, I. C. F., Moore, L., Galand, M., Miller, S., & Mendillo, M. (2012). Magnetosphere-atmosphere coupling at Saturn: 1. Response of thermosphere and ionosphere to steady state polar forcing. Icarus, 221, 481–494

[4] Müller-Wodarg, I. C. F., Koskinen, T. T., Moore, L., Serigano, J., Yelle, R. V., Hörst, S. M., et al. (2019). Atmospheric waves and their possible effect on the thermal structure of Saturn’s thermosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 2372–2380.

[5] Iñurrigarro, P., I. C. F. Mueller-Wodarg, A. S. Medvedev (2023), Numerical simulations of atmospheric waves in Saturn’s thermosphere with the STIM model., Abstract for 2023 DPS/EPSC Meeting, San Antonio

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