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A global hybrid model for Titan's interaction with the Kronian plasma: Application to the Cassini Ta flyby
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, Vol. 113, no A1, A01317- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The interaction between the corotating magnetospheric plasma of Saturn and the exosphere of Titan is investigated by means of a three-dimensional and multispecies hybrid simulation model coupling charged and neutral species via three ionizing mechanisms: the absorption of extreme ultraviolet solar photons, the impacts of magnetospheric electrons, and the charge exchange reactions between ions and neutral atoms or molecules. The simulation model includes the low and energetic components of the magnetospheric plasma, the main exospheric neutral species (molecular hydrogen and nitrogen and methane), and the atmospheric slowing down of charged particles penetrating below the exobase. Ionization rates of the exospheric species are computed as consistently as possible for each of the three ionizing mechanisms by making use of the relevant local number densities and cross sections or ionization frequencies. This model is thus able to provide a priori estimates of the escaping fluxes of exospheric ionic species and to separate for the contributions of the different ionization sources. A simulation run has been made for the conditions encountered by spacecraft Cassini during flyby Ta of Titan on 26 October 2004. Results are presented to characterize the main features of the simulated plasma environment of Titan: the induced magnetic tail and the flow of magnetospheric plasma around Titan, as well as the wake and the acceleration of the planetary plasma. Considering the coarse spatial resolution of the present simulation, these features are in reasonable agreement with in situ plasma measurements made by spacecraft Cassini.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 113, no A1, A01317- p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-149887DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012453ISI: 000252887000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-149887DiVA: diva2:405887
Available from: 2011-03-24 Created: 2011-03-24 Last updated: 2011-03-24Bibliographically approved

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