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D.E. Dunn (UC Berkeley), I. de Pater (UC Berkeley), R.J. Sault (ATNF)
We present a summary of Jupiter data taken over a seventeen year span (1981-1998) by the Very Large Array at ~ 20.0 cm. At this wavelength the emission is dominated by synchrotron radiation, which is roughly proportional to the product of the electron number density and magnetic field strength (Ne B). At each epoch 8--12 hours of data were taken, which allowed us to examine Jupiter during an entire rotation period. We mapped the azimuthal structure of the synchrotron radiation by using a 3-D reconstruction techinique developed by Sault et al. (AA \bf 324 \rm 1190--1196, 1997). We have applied this technique to all the data to produce plots of the latitude, radial distance, and peak intensity vs. Jovian longitude (System III).
The results show a remarkable constancy of the shape of the synchrotron radiation and hence both the particle distribution and magnetic field. Throughout all epochs, the data show nearly the same latitudinal structure. Furthermore, the radial distance of the synchrotron radiation has generally remained the same in the 17-year span.
As we expected, the only change appears to have been the intensity of the synchrotron radiation as a function of time. There are certain epochs (e.g. 1987) which seem clearly (though modestly) brighter than others (e.g. 1981, 1995) at all longitudes. Does this suggest a seasonal or other periodic effect on Jupiter? Also seen is an expected anti-correlation between the azimuthally averaged radial distance and azimuthally averaged peak intensity of the synchrotron radiation. We examine these trends by comparing the data to radial diffusion models.
The data analysis and research has been supported by NASA grant NAG5-6890.