Incredible magnetic waves released from Jupiter's moon Ganymede

A new study reveals the incrediblly intense magnetic waves being released from Jupiter's moon Ganymede.
By Tyler MacDonald | Aug 08, 2018
A team of researchers just released a study that reveals that the power of chorus waves is 1 million times more intense near Jupiter's moon Ganymede and 100 times more intense near its moon Europa than the average surrounding similar planets.

"It's a really surprising and puzzling observation showing that a moon with a magnetic field can create such a tremendous intensification in the power of waves," said Yuri Shprits, first author on the study.

Chorus waves are a unique kind of radio wave that occur at extremely low frequencies, and unlike Earth, Europa and Ganymede orbit within Jupiter's magnetic field. The team believes that this is one of the primary factors that power the waves.

"Chorus waves have been detected in space around the Earth, but they are nowhere near as strong as the waves at Jupiter," said Richard Horne of British Antarctic Survey, a co-author on the study. "Even if small portion of these waves escapes the immediate vicinity of Ganymede, they will be capable of accelerating particles to very high energies and ultimately producing very fast electrons inside Jupiter's magnetic field."

Examination of Jupiter's waves gives researchers a chance to understand the processes that are critical for laboratory plasmas and advances our quest for unique energy sources. Not only that, it sheds light on the processes of loss and acceleration around the planet's in our solar system.

Similar processes might be taking place in exoplanets that orbit other stars, and examination of these processes will help researchers determine if exoplanets have magnetic fields.

Thefindings were published in Nature Communications.

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