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On Current Sheets and Associated Density Spikes in Titan's Ionosphere as Seen From Cassini
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1377-6401
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1261-7580
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9621-211x
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2107-5859
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 128, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Cassini spacecraft made in-situ measurements of Titan's plasma environment during 126 close encounters between 2004 and 2017. Here we report on observations from the Radio and Plasma Waves System/Langmuir probe instrument (RPWS/LP) from which we have observed, primarily on the outbound leg, a localized increase of the electron density by up to 150 cm−3 with respect to the background. This feature, appearing as an electron density spike in the data, is found during 28 of the 126 flybys. The data from RPWS/LP, the electron spectrometer from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer package , and the magnetometer is used to calculate electron densities and magnetic field characteristics. The location of these structures around Titan with respect to the nominal corotation direction and the sun direction is investigated. We find that the electron density spikes are primarily observed on the dayside and ramside of Titan. We also observe magnetic field signatures that could suggest the presence of current sheets in most cases. The density spikes are extended along the trajectory of the spacecraft with the horizontal scale of ∼537 ± 160 km and vertical scale ∼399 ± 163 km. We suggest that the density spikes are formed as a result of the current sheet formation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2023. Vol. 128, no 3
Keywords [en]
Titan, Cassini, current sheets, Langmuir probe
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-501378DOI: 10.1029/2022JA031118ISI: 000949118800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-501378DiVA, id: diva2:1755615
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2020-03962Swedish National Space BoardAvailable from: 2023-05-08 Created: 2023-05-08 Last updated: 2023-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Kim, KonstantinEdberg, Niklas J. T.Shebanits, OlegWahlund, Jan-ErikVigren, Erik

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Kim, KonstantinEdberg, Niklas J. T.Shebanits, OlegWahlund, Jan-ErikVigren, Erik
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala DivisionDepartment of Physics and Astronomy
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Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics
Fusion, Plasma and Space PhysicsAstronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

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