Ion densities and velocities in the inner plasma torus of Saturn
2012 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 73, no 1, 151-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We present plasma data from the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) Langmuir probe (LP), mapping the ion density and velocity of Saturn's inner plasma torus. Data from 129 orbits, recorded during the period from the 1st of February 2005 to the 27th of June 2010, are used to map the extension of the inner plasma torus. The dominant part of the plasma torus is shown to be located in between 2.5 and 8 Saturn radii (1 RS=60,268 km) from the planet, with a north-southward extension of ±2RS. The plasma disk ion density shows a broad maximum in between the orbits of Enceladus and Tethys. Ion density values vary between 20 and 125 cm-3 at the location of the density maximum, indicating considerable dynamics of the plasma disk. The equatorial density structure, |z|<0.5RS, shows a slower decrease away from the planet than towards. The outward decrease, from 5 R S, is well described by the relation neq=2.2×10 4(1/R)3.63. The plume of the moon Enceladus is clearly visible as an ion density maximum of 105 cm-3, only present at the south side of the ring plane. A less prominent density peak, of 115 cm-3, is also detected at the orbit of Tethys, at ∼4.9 RS. No density peaks are recorded at the orbits of the moons Mimas, Dione, and Rhea. The presented ion velocity vi,θ shows a clear general trend in the region between 3 and 7 RS, described by vi, θ=1.5R2-8.7R+39. The average vi,θ starts to deviate from corotation at around 3 RS, reaching ∼68% of corotation close to 5 RS.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 73, no 1, 151-160 p.
Cassini, E-ring, Ion density, Ion velocity, Plasma disk, Saturn magnetosphere, Alpha particles, Magnetosphere, Orbits, Plasma waves, Plasmas, Velocity, Ions
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-192893DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2012.09.016ISI: 000314007400024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-192893DiVA: diva2:600984