Science Findings

12.03.20

Jupiter’s Wind-blown Magnetic Field

Jupiter’s magnetic field is changing in time. This is the first definitive detection of time-variation in a planetary magnetic field beyond Earth.
Jupiter’s magnetic field is changing in time and its atmospheric winds are likely responsible for this variation.

Surface winds projected to 0.95RJ

Jupiter’s atmospheric winds are likely responsible for this time-variation. These winds extend over 3000 km deep to where the interior is highly conductive & advect the field, shearing it apart and carrying it around the planet. 


Analysis provides a lower bound on Jupiter’s wind velocity of 4 cm/s (at 0.95RJ).

Future modeled zonal wind advection of Jupiter’s radial magnetic field (1RJ)

Future orbits will further constrain Jupiter’s interior.

Credit: Kimberly Moore (kimberlymoore@g.harvard.edu), Hao Cao, Jeremy Bloxham, David Stevenson, John Connerney, & Scott Bolton

Download Jupiter's Wind-blown Magnetic Field here