The Peculiar Role of Io in the Magnetosphere of Jupiter

Fran Bagenal

Laboratory for Atmospheric & Space Physics

Dept. of Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences

University of Colorado


Jupiter is a planet of superlatives: the most massive planet in the solar system, rotates the fastest, has the strongest magnetic field, and has the most massive satellite system of any planet. These unique properties lead to volcanoes on Io and the existence of energetic plasma in the jovian system that provides a physical link between the satellites, particularly Io, and Jupiter. Although it has been know for over 30 years that Io modulates Jupiterís radio emissions, only very recently has the direct connection been demonstrated. This talk presents explorations of Jupiter's vast and dynamic magnetosphere by Galileo, Hubble Space Telescope, Cassini plus the future Juno mission.


Bio: Dr Fran Bagenal was born and grew up in England. In 1976, inspired by NASAís missions to Mars and the prospect of the Voyager mission, she came to the US for graduate study at MIT. Her 1981 PhD thesis involved analysis of data from the Voyager Plasma Science experiment in Jupiterís giant magnetosphere. She spent 1982-1987 as a post-doctoral researcher in space physics at Imperial College, London. Voyager flybys of Uranus and Neptune brought her back to the US and she joined the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1989. She is professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and faculty associate of the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics. In addition to the Voyager mission, Dr Bagenal has been on the science teams of the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Deep Space 1 mission to Comet Borrelly. She edited Jupiter: Planet, Satellites and Magnetosphere (Cambridge University Press, 2004). She heads the plasma teams on the first two New Frontiers missions: New Horizons mission to Pluto (launched January 2006) and Juno, a Jupiter polar orbiter (scheduled for launch 2011).Dr Bagenal has served on several committees of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: Space Studies Board, Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey Committee, and chaired the Committee to Assess the Role of Solar and Space Physics in Exploration. She chairs NASAís Outer Planets Assessment Group.Dr Bagenal became a US citizen on 9/6/2001 and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2006.