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Reconnection events in Saturn's magnetotail: dependence of plasmoid occurrence on planetary period oscillation phase

Record type: Article

During its exploration of Saturn's magnetotail the Cassini magnetometer has detected many in situ examples of magnetic reconnection, in the form of plasmoids, traveling compression regions (TCRs), and dipolarizations. Meanwhile, many magnetospheric phenomena have been shown to be organized with particular regularity by planetary period oscillation systems driven separately from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the planet. Here we examine the relationship between the occurrence of plasmoids and TCRs and the magnetic phases of the northern and southern systems. We find a striking degree of organization of the events by both northern and southern phases, with events linked preferentially to intervals in which the magnetospheric plasma and field lines are displaced outward from the planet and the current sheet thinned, both effects being likely to favor the occurrence of reconnection and plasmoid-related mass loss. Little evidence is found for significant visibility effects associated with north-south motions of the plasma sheet.

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Citation

Jackman, C.M., Provan, G and Cowley, S (2016) Reconnection events in Saturn's magnetotail: dependence of plasmoid occurrence on planetary period oscillation phase Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, pp. 1-13. (doi:10.1002/2015JA021985).

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2 February 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 February 2016
Published date: 6 April 2016
Organisations: Astronomy Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391973
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391973
ISSN: 2169-9380
PURE UUID: 45d680cd-e649-4e22-88fa-81a60ca6b4a2

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Date deposited: 13 Apr 2016 13:48
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:21

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Contributors

Author: C.M. Jackman
Author: G Provan
Author: S Cowley

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