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Titan's interaction with the supersonic solar wind
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2015 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, Vol. 42, no 2, 193-200 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

After 9years in the Saturn system, the Cassini spacecraft finally observed Titan in the supersonic and super-Alfvenic solar wind. These unique observations reveal that Titan's interaction with the solar wind is in many ways similar to unmagnetized planets Mars and Venus and active comets in spite of the differences in the properties of the solar plasma in the outer solar system. In particular, Cassini detected a collisionless, supercritical bow shock and a well-defined induced magnetosphere filled with mass-loaded interplanetary magnetic field lines, which drape around Titan's ionosphere. Although the flyby altitude may not allow the detection of an ionopause, Cassini reports enhancements of plasma density compatible with plasma clouds or streamers in the flanks of its induced magnetosphere or due to an expansion of the induced magnetosphere. Because of the upstream conditions, these observations may be also relevant to other bodies in the outer solar system such as Pluto, where kinetic processes are expected to dominate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 42, no 2, 193-200 p.
Keyword [en]
Titan, solar wind, Venus, Mars
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-249027DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062106ISI: 000349956000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-249027DiVA: diva2:807749
Available from: 2015-04-24 Created: 2015-04-10 Last updated: 2015-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Edberg, Niklas J. T.
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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