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Nature. 2002 Feb 28;415(6875):991-4.

The dusk flank of Jupiter's magnetosphere.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Limited single-spacecraft observations of Jupiter's magnetopause have been used to infer that the boundary moves inward or outward in response to variations in the dynamic pressure of the solar wind. At Earth, multiple-spacecraft observations have been implemented to understand the physics of how this motion occurs, because they can provide a snapshot of a transient event in progress. Here we present a set of nearly simultaneous two-point measurements of the jovian magnetopause at a time when the jovian magnetopause was in a state of transition from a relatively larger to a relatively smaller size in response to an increase in solar-wind pressure. The response of Jupiter's magnetopause is very similar to that of the Earth, confirming that the understanding built on studies of the Earth's magnetosphere is valid. The data also reveal evidence for a well-developed boundary layer just inside the magnetopause.

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