Recent data from NASA's Juno spacecraft supports the theory that this ribbon is a signature for Jupiter's magnetic equator.
The result was so startling and yet clear, it took us all by surprise, and we strongly suspected and speculated that the feature was caused by Jupiter's magnetic equator.
Some of Jupiter's auroral regions were highly complex, and so many earlier models predicted a very complex magnetic equator to match with this, but the magnetic equator is actually shaped much more like that of Earth.
The vertical red and black dashed lines indicate the magnetic equator
and the equator (geographic latitude = 0[degrees]), respectively.
Jets of gas emanating from each magnetic pole might meet and collide near the magnetic equator
, accounting for the Lyman-alpha bulge and the turbulent, high-speed motion of the hydrogen atoms.
Recently, however, researchers at Stanford University's Wilcox Solar Observatory, and a group of Alaskan and Japanese scientists (including the author), independently found that the Sun's magnetic equator begins to incline with respect to the heliographic equator as the sunspot cycle progresses.
This change of inclination of the magnetic equator can be represented by imagining a dipole (called the equivalent dipole) at the center of the Sun and rotating it 180 [degrees] end over end during the sunspot cycle.