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Investigation of MHD slow shocks propagating along the Io flux tube

Erkaev N. V., Semenov V. S., Shaidurov V. A., Langmayr D., Biernat H. K., Rucker H. O.
Int. J. of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy. — 2002. — Vol. 3. — P. 67-76.

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Abstract

One aspect of the Io-Jupiter interaction studied by many authors is the generation of Alfv_en waves by Io moving in the magnetized plasma. In our study, we focus on an additional mechanism of the interaction between Io and Jupiter based on MHD slow shocks propagating from Io toward Jupiter along a magnetic ux tube. These MHD slow shocks are produced by plasma ow injected by Io, which is considered as a source of ionized particles. The propagation of the slow shocks is calculated along a given magnetic ux tube from Io to Jupiter. The total pressure is assumed to be a known function of the distance measured along the tube. It is determined as the magnetic pressure corresponding to the undisturbed Jovian magnetic field calculated in a dipole approximation. The material coordinates are used to describe the plasma ow along the magnetic tube. The peculiarity of this problem stems from the fact that the total pressure increases by a factor of 105, whereas the cross section of the magnetic ux tube decreases by a factor of 300. The result is that the plasma velocity after the shock front substantially increases toward Jupiter with increasing magnetic pressure. The electric potential difference along the magnetic field is estimated, which is produced by the accelerated plasma ow propagating with the MHD slow shocks.