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Home > Seminars & Defenses > Past seminars, PhD & HDR defenses > 2021 > Séminaires 2021 > Le jeudi 4 mars 2021 à 16h00

Le jeudi 4 mars 2021 à 16h00

The radiation belts of Jupiter: open science questions and missing measurements.
Quentin Nénon, Postdoc at Space Sciences Laboratory, U. C. Berkeley

Jupiter has the largest and most energetic radiation belts in the solar system. They are populated by electrons, protons and heavy ions that are trapped by the intense magnetic field of the planet and have velocities up to more than 99% the speed of light.
This presentation will give an overview of (1) the past, current and future planned exploration of the Jovian radiation belts by Earth observatories and space missions, and of (2) the state of the art on our understanding of the origin of this complex system and its coupling with the Jovian environment: atmosphere, rings, moons, electromagnetic fields and waves.
However, the extremely hazardous environment of the Jovian radiation belts severely limits their in-situ exploration, so that they have kept many of their secrets hidden. In answer to the 2019 and 2020 calls for the Decadal Surveys of the European Space Agency (Voyage 2050) and NASA/NSF (Astrobiology and Planetary Science Decadal Survey), an international consortium has formulated seven overarching questions which will not be answered by future planned space missions. In this presentation, we will argue why these secrets are worth unveiling for space physics and planetary science. Preliminary considerations for a Van Allen Probe type mission dedicated to the radiation belts of Jupiter will be introduced, as the technical challenges that would have to be overcome.

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