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The observed composition of ions outflowing from Titan
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2012 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, Vol. 39, L19104- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We report on Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) observations above Titan's exobase at altitudes of 2225 km to 3034 km. We observe significant densities of CH5+, HCNH+ and C2H5+ that require ion-molecule reactions to be produced in the quantities observed. The measured composition and ion velocity (about 0.8-1.5 km/s) suggest that the observed ions must have been created deep inside Titan's ionosphere (below the exobase) and then transported to the detection altitude. Plasma motion from below Titan's exobase to large distances can be driven by a combination of thermal pressure and magnetic forces. The observed outward flows may link the main ionosphere with the more distant wake and provide a source of hydrocarbon ions in the Saturnian system. Citation: Westlake, J. H., et al. (2012), The observed composition of ions outflowing from Titan, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L19104, doi: 10.1029/2012GL053079.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 39, L19104- p.
Keyword [en]
saturns magnetosphere, plasma environment, hybrid simulation, ionosphere, voyager-1, dynamics, flyby, t9
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-184635DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053079ISI: 000309606700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-184635DiVA: diva2:567507
Available from: 2012-11-13 Created: 2012-11-12 Last updated: 2012-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Wahlund, Jan-Erik
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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