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Plasma flows in Saturn's nightside magnetosphere

Plasma flows in Saturn's nightside magnetosphere
Plasma flows in Saturn's nightside magnetosphere

The plasma properties, especially the flow parameters, obtained from numerical integration of Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) Ion Mass Spectrometer measurements during intervals when the CAPS field of view encompassed both inward and outward flow directions relative to corotation are examined for nightside data (18-06 local time) during 2006, 2009, and 2010. The results show good agreement with previously reported values derived using different selection criteria and a different analysis technique. Nightside flows are predominantly in or near the corotation direction, indicating continuing influence of connection to the ionosphere. There is no evidence for a quasi-steady reconnection x line within the surveyed region of the tail, although dynamic events attributable to transient reconnection have been observed. There is a net radial mass outflow, leading to an estimated net mass loss between 18 and 03 local time of ~34-kg/s. Part of this mass loss occurs as a "planetary wind" along the dusk flank. The remainder probably occurs ultimately much deeper in the tail and along the distant dawn magnetopause, when the mass disconnects from the weakened planetary magnetic field.

magnetosphere, plasma flow, Saturn
2169-9275
4521-4535
Thomsen, M. F.
bc09abeb-5d20-449f-9f54-568fff6d220c
Jackman, C. M.
9bc3456c-b254-48f1-ade0-912c5b8b4529
Tokar, R. L.
8213ad4b-5b3b-46b1-90ad-334b61c2d79c
Wilson, R. J.
3eb91ab1-d5c4-4f0c-a5d1-8944b536a296
Thomsen, M. F.
bc09abeb-5d20-449f-9f54-568fff6d220c
Jackman, C. M.
9bc3456c-b254-48f1-ade0-912c5b8b4529
Tokar, R. L.
8213ad4b-5b3b-46b1-90ad-334b61c2d79c
Wilson, R. J.
3eb91ab1-d5c4-4f0c-a5d1-8944b536a296

Thomsen, M. F., Jackman, C. M., Tokar, R. L. and Wilson, R. J. (2014) Plasma flows in Saturn's nightside magnetosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 119 (6), 4521-4535. (doi:10.1002/2014JA019912).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The plasma properties, especially the flow parameters, obtained from numerical integration of Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) Ion Mass Spectrometer measurements during intervals when the CAPS field of view encompassed both inward and outward flow directions relative to corotation are examined for nightside data (18-06 local time) during 2006, 2009, and 2010. The results show good agreement with previously reported values derived using different selection criteria and a different analysis technique. Nightside flows are predominantly in or near the corotation direction, indicating continuing influence of connection to the ionosphere. There is no evidence for a quasi-steady reconnection x line within the surveyed region of the tail, although dynamic events attributable to transient reconnection have been observed. There is a net radial mass outflow, leading to an estimated net mass loss between 18 and 03 local time of ~34-kg/s. Part of this mass loss occurs as a "planetary wind" along the dusk flank. The remainder probably occurs ultimately much deeper in the tail and along the distant dawn magnetopause, when the mass disconnects from the weakened planetary magnetic field.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 26 May 2014
Published date: 16 June 2014
Keywords: magnetosphere, plasma flow, Saturn

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 436456
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/436456
ISSN: 2169-9275
PURE UUID: 0b844171-ff13-4e19-82c7-a7b8820f1729
ORCID for C. M. Jackman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0635-7361
ORCID for R. J. Wilson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5705-6078

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Date deposited: 11 Dec 2019 17:30
Last modified: 27 Jan 2020 13:46

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Contributors

Author: M. F. Thomsen
Author: C. M. Jackman ORCID iD
Author: R. L. Tokar
Author: R. J. Wilson ORCID iD

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