We report the discovery of diffuse hard (1-5 keV) X-ray emission around Jupiter in a deep 160 ks Suzaku X-ray Imaging Spectrometer data. The emission is distributed over ∼16 × 8 Jovian radius and spatially associated with the radiation belts and the Io Plasma Torus (IPT). It shows a flat power-law spectrum with a photon index of 1.4 0.2 with the 1-5 keV X-ray luminosity of (3.3 ± 0.5)×1015 erg s-1. We discussed its origin and concluded that it seems to be truly diffuse, although a possibility of multiple background point sources cannot be completely rejected with a limited angular resolution. If it is diffuse, the flat continuum indicates that X-rays arise by the nonthermal electrons in the radiation belts and/or the IPT. The synchrotron and bremsstrahlung models can be rejected from the necessary electron energy and X-ray spectral shape, respectively. The inverse-Compton scattering off solar photons by ultra-relativistic (several tens MeV) electrons can explain the energy and the spectrum but the necessary electron density is ≳10 times larger than the value estimated from the empirical model of Jovian charge particles.
- Planets and satellites: individual (Jupiter, Io)
- X-rays: general
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science