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Cassini Plasma Spectrometer and hybrid model study on Titan's interaction: Effect of oxygen ions
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research, ISSN 0148-0227, Vol. 116, A07223- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the Cassini Titan flyby on 2 July 2006 (T15), Titan was surrounded by a magnetospheric plasma flow with density about 0.1 cm(-3) as measured by Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS). A very low fraction of water group ions (O(+)) was detected in the flow dominated by hydrogen ions. We show that Titan's plasma interaction can be highly sensitive to the small fraction of oxygen ions in the magnetospheric flow. The ion quantities of the magnetospheric flow during the flyby were obtained from numerical moments calculated from the CAPS measurements; the average ambient magnetic field was determined using the Cassini magnetometer data. We simulated the flyby using a global hybrid model; the water group abundance in the flow was varied in three simulation runs. Based on the simulation results, the oxygen content has an especially notable effect on the extent of Titan's induced magnetosphere. A multi-instrument analysis was performed comparing with the simulations, whereby a comprehensive picture of the plasma properties around Titan during this flyby was obtained. Comparisons between the hybrid model simulations and Cassini measurements during the flyby point toward O+ density in the undisturbed magnetospheric flow having been around 0.008 cm(-3), which would have accounted for one half of the dynamic pressure of the flow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 116, A07223- p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156946DOI: 10.1029/2011JA016443ISI: 000293091700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156946DiVA: diva2:435843
Available from: 2011-08-20 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2011-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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