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Dust en-route to Jupiter and the Galilean satellites Harald Krüger, Eberhard Grün
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Postfach 10 39 80, 69029 Heidelberg, Germany
Spacecraft investigations during the last ten years have vastly improved our knowledge about dust in the Jovian system. All Galilean satellites, and probably all smaller satellites as well, are sources of dust in the Jovian system. In-situ measurements with the dust detectors on board the Ulysses and Galileo spacecraft have for the first time demonstrated the electromagnetic interaction of charged dust grains with the interplanetary magnetic field and with a planetary magnetosphere. Jupiter's magnetosphere acts as a giant mass-velocity spectrometer for charged 10-nanometer dust grains. These dust grains are released from Jupiter's moon Io with typical rate of ~ 1kg s-1. The dust streams probe the plasma conditions in the Io plasma torus and can be used as a potential monitor of Io's volcanic plume activity. The other Galilean satellites are surrounded by tenuous impact-generated clouds of mostly sub-micrometer ejecta grains. Galileo measurements have demonstrated that impact-ejecta derived from hypervelocity impacts onto satellites are the major - if not the only - constituent of dusty planetary rings. We review the in-situ dust measurements at Jupiter and give an update of most recent results.
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