Jupiter’s ‘Synchrotron’ Radiation

Jupiter Radiation Belts

Fig. 1.  Cassini scans of Jupiter’s inner radiation belt

“Synchrotron radiation is the electromagnetic radiation emitted when charged particles are accelerated radially, i.e., when they are subject to an acceleration perpendicular to their velocity (a ⊥ v). It is produced, for example, in synchrotrons using bending magnets, undulators and/or wigglers. If the particle is non-relativistic, then the emission is called cyclotron emission.” (1)
Radiation from Jupiter’s inner radiation belt was measured by the Cassini probe on 2-3 January 2001 when on its way to Saturn (Figure 1). The horizontally polarized radiation scans are shown on the left and vertically polarized scans, above and below the belt, are shown on the right. The horizontally polarized radiation is more powerful, but the intensity of both are very low – each horizontal/vertical pair of images shown in Figure 1 required a one hour scan across the disk of Jupiter. In the Methane Gas Hydrate hypothesis, these are both the result of unidirectional flows of intense (1030/sec), energetic (20,000 km/s) helium ions. At this velocity a helium ion travels from the fusion source, 700 km below the cloud-tops, through the GRS and once completely around the planet in 15 seconds.


Fig. 2 Radiation patterns (A) Non-relativistic cyclotron and (B) Relativistic synchotron particles.

This was interpreted in 2002 as synchrotron radiation due to ultra-relativistic electrons with energies > 50 MeV. (2) The models constructed to explain the ultra-relativistic radiation (γ>>1) assumed the radiation detected was only that beamed in the direction of motion of the particles, as shown in (B) on the right in Figure 2. (3) Since the radiation from both the east and west of Jupiter are almost equally powerful, this assumption implied a ‘belief’ that the electrons are moving both prograde and retrograde (equatorial mirroring) in keeping with the analogy of the Earth’s Van Allen belts.
Controverting the above view, recent Juno JEDI measurements have determined that the ratio of energetic particles to ions near the inner radiation belt is much less than 1, indicating that most of the particles are ions, not electrons. (4) Only protons and heavier ions such as sulfur and oxygen were identified by Solid State Detector-Time-Of-Flight coincidence measurements, but no high energy helium ions, which we propose dominate the beam, because no JEDI TOF measurements were attempted within 20 minutes of closest approach to insure the health and safety of the instrument. The measured 90 degree pitch angles of the ions were interpreted as due to ‘equatorial mirroring’- thus assuming bidirectional velocities of the ions, prograde and retrograde, again, as in the Van Allen belts of Earth. Noting the previously determined decline of ion intensities immediately planetward of Io’s orbit (6 RJ), the authors attempt to explain the obvious question of the origin of the ions in the inner radiation belt, between 1.4 and 1.2 RJ suggesting a process of ‘stripping of neutral atoms’.

Given the inner radiation belt comprises fast helium ions, 3He++ circulating exclusively prograde, raises the question of the origin of the supposed synchrotron radiation, discussed above. The power of the radiation is given by:

Thus the power radiated by the ion beam would be reduced by their mass ratios (e/3He)4 =(1/6000)4 -> 1.66×10-16 but scaled by their energy, ~ 104 MeV, +2 positive charge giving (2e)and their great numbers, estimated to be 1031.

Cyclotron Radiation
However, if as proposed herein, the helium ions all circle Jupiter prograde at 20,000 km/s, a completely different situation would attain. This velocity results in a Lorentz factor essentially 1 (non-relativistic) meaning that the beaming assumed for the electron model would not be a factor for the proposed ion beam. Thus, the angular distribution of this cyclotron radiation would be similar to that shown in Figure 2 (A), with radiation in all azimuth directions but strongest when the angle between velocity and acceleration is +/- 90 degrees, that is, from the zones to both the west and east of Jupiter. This is exactly where the measured radiation is strongest (Figure 1). Thus, the proposed unidirectional ion beam produces the radiation both on the west and east sides of Jupiter. Assuming radiation was continuously received from all ions scanned by Cassini would greatly increase the total number of ions relative to electrons contributing to the image. The helium ion inner radiation belt also explains the slight east-west asymmetry of the radiation shown in Figure 1, which is due to the greater density of ions directly above the Great Red Spot, where they collide with the ion beam, as shown in Figure 1 of a previous post. The vertically polarized radiation, on the right side of in Figure 1 above, is radiation from the helium ions which are flowing to the poles, consistent with the MGH hypothesis. It is not as powerful as the main belt, because fewer helium ions follow that path. The vertically polarized sources in Figure 1 are smeared due to the horizontal scanning process and where superimposed on the disk of Jupiter are removed. The thermal radiation from the disk of Jupiter is much stronger than from the belts, so it is subtracted from the observed radiation signal, leaving the observed disk of Jupiter black in most scans.

~ by Angiras on July 29, 2017.

%d bloggers like this: