Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astronomy Tunes Into Radio "Jupiter"

27.08.2012
"PIRATE BROADCASTER" ON JUPITER - RADIO EMISSIONS CONCEAL SURPRISE

The discovery of a new radio emission from Jupiter is among the highlights of a three-year Austrian Science Fund FWF project. This project actually investigated the planetary radio-frequency emissions of the Earth and Saturn - and a strange radio emission from the planet Jupiter was discovered.

Further results of the project, which has now been completed, included the identification of a new modulation in terrestrial radio emissions, as well as analysis of particular components of Saturn´s radio emissions. External reviewers assessed the project as outstanding in the closing evaluation.

The Earth is loud. Radio-loud. That is how objects causing measurable radio emissions are described in astronomy. The Earth itself is one as well, whose magnet field influences charged particles (electrons, protons, and ions) in a way that causes radio emissions. Indeed, other planets such as Saturn or Jupiter cause these emissions as well. Measuring them allows us to draw conclusions about planetary magnetic fields. A project of the Austrian Science Fund FWF, carried out in Graz at the Space Research Institute (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, had just this goal.

TUNED IN
The team headed by Prof. Helmut O. Rucker, Deputy Director and Research Director at the IWF, wanted to analyse specific radio emissions of the Earth and Saturn in cooperation with colleagues from the US and France. And, with the help of radio data from NASA´s space probes Stereo-A and Stereo-B, they were successful at this - although a "jammer" had been broadcasting into their work. According to Prof. Rucker: "In the course of the analysis, my colleague, Dr. Mykhaylo Panchenko, discovered a strange radio emission that originated from Jupiter - one which actually would not have been part of our project. That this emission remained undiscovered, despite 50 years of observing Jovian radio emissions, was reason enough for us to get to the bottom of it."

The striking thing about the emission in the decametre region (wavelengths of about 10 metres) was especially its periodicity, that is, the change in its intensity. Up to now, there were two known periods for the decametre emission of Jupiter: one that resulted from the rotation of Jupiter running at 9 hours, 55 minutes, 29.7 seconds (System III), as well as a one further that can be traced back to the influence of Jupiter´s moon Io on the magnetic field (42.46 hours). The newly discovered component in the radio emissions, with a period of about 10.07 hours, lay approx. 1.5 percent higher than the one produced by Jupiter´s rotation. Dr. Panchenko comments: "Our further analyses suggest that the source of this new radio-frequency component co-rotates with Jupiter. We suspect that the source of the emission lies in the vicinity of the plasma torus fed by Jupiter´s moon Io." This is a donut-shaped region around Jupiter that lies at the elevation of Io´s orbital plane and has been formed by volcanic material from this moon interacting with Jupiter´s magnetic field. This hypothesis about the source and questions about how the radio impulses are created now need to be clarified in future projects.

PROJECTS & PRODUCTS
Published in Geophysical Research Letters, the work about the discovery of the radio emissions represented an unexpected spin-off product for the FWF project. However, important progress was also made on the radio emissions work actually planned for Earth and Saturn. A distinct diurnal modulation could be established through analysis of the Stereo-A and Stereo-B data for auroral radio emissions of Earth in the kilometre wavelength. In addition, in-flight calibration of the stereo antenna system based on specialised mathematical techniques proved successful. This facilitated an exact characterisation of the reception behaviour of this system. Additionally, accurate analyses of the modulations for Saturn´s kilometre-wavelength radio emissions were completed.

Prof. Rucker´s view on the extension of the project: "Basic research lives from the unexpected. Thanks to the flexibility of the FWF, it was possible for us to meet scientific surprise with solid data analysis." A fact that the project´s international evaluators appreciated, when they provided assessments of ´outstanding´ in the final report.

Original publication: New periodicity in Jovian decametric radio emission, M. Panchenko, H. O. Rucker, M. L. Kaiser, O. C. St. Cyr, J.-L. Bougeret, K. Goetz and S. D. Bale. Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 37, L05106, DOI: 10. 1029/2010GL042488, 2010

Image and text available from Monday, 27 August 2012, at 09.00 CET at:
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv201208-en.html
Scientific contact:
Prof. Helmut O. Rucker
Space Research Institute (IWF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Schmiedlstraße 6
8042 Graz, Austria
T +43 / (0)316 / 4120 - 601
E helmut.rucker@oeaw.ac.at
Austrian Science Fund FWF:
Mag. Stefan Bernhardt
Haus der Forschung
Sensengasse 1
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 67 40 - 8111
E stefan.bernhardt@fwf.ac.at
W http://www.fwf.ac.at
Copy Editing & Distribution:
PR&D - Public Relations for
Research & Development Mariannengasse 8
1090 Vienna, Austria
T +43 / (0)1 / 505 70 44
E contact@prd.at
W http://www.prd.at

Margot Pechtigam | PR&D
Further information:
http://www.fwf.ac.at/en/public_relations/press/pv201208-en.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

nachricht Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>