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R.F. Elsner (NASA MSFC), J.H. Waite, F. Crary, T. Majeed (U. Michigan), G.R. Gladstone, W.S. Lewis (SwRI), P.G. Ford (M.I.T.), R.R. Howell (U.Wyoming), R.E. Johnson (U. Virginia), A. Bhardwaj (Vikram Sarabhai), A.F. Tennant (NASA MSFC), D. Grodent (U. Liege), M.K.K. Dougherty (Imperial College), S.A. Espinosa (MPI, Katlenburg-Lindau), T.E. Cravens (U. Kansas)
High-spatial resolution Chandra x-ray obsrvations have demonstrated that most of Jupiter's northern auroral x-rays come from a hot spot located significantly poleward of the latitudes connected to the inner magnetosphere. This hot spot appears fixed in magnetic latitude and longitude and coincides with a region exhibiting anomalous ultraviolet and infrared emissions. The hot spot also exhibited approximately 45 minute quasi-periodic oscillations, a period similar to those reported for high-latitude radio and energetic electron bursts observed by near-Jupiter spacecraft. These results invalidate the idea that jovian auroral x-ray emissions are mainly excited by steady precipitation of energetic heavy ions from the inner magnetosphere. Instead, the x-rays appear to result from currently unexplained processes in the outer magnetosphere that produce highly localized and highly variable emissions over an extremely wide range of wavelengths. The Chandra observations also revealed for the first time x-ray emission (about 0.1 GW) from the Io Plasma Torus, as well as very faint x-ray emission (about 1-2 MW) from the Galilean moons Io, Europa, and possibly Ganymede. The emission from the moons is almost certainly due to Kalpha emission of surface atoms (and possibly impact atoms) excited by the impact of highly energetic protons, oxygen, and sulfur atoms and ions from the Torus. The Torus emission is less well understood at present, although bremsstrahlung from the non-thermal tail of the electron distribution may provide a significant fraction. In any case, further observations, already accepted and in the process of being planned, with Chandra, some with the moderate energy resolution of the CCD camera, together with simultaneous Hubble Space Telescope observations and hopefully ground-based IRTF observations should soon provide greater insight into these various processes.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.