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    The variability of Titan's magnetic environment

    Bertucci, C. and Sinclair, B. and Achilleos, Nick and Hunt, P. and Dougherty, M.K. and Arridge, Chris S. (2009) The variability of Titan's magnetic environment. Planetary and Space Science 57 (14-15), pp. 1813-1820. ISSN 0032-0633.

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    Abstract

    With a mean orbital radius of 20.2 Saturnian radii (1 Saturn radius RS=60,330 km), Titan is usually located within the kronian magnetosphere. 3.5 years of Cassini magnetometer observations in the vicinity of Titan's orbit reveal that the moon's magnetic environment is strongly affected by the presence of Saturn's magnetodisk. As a result of the disk's solar–wind-induced asymmetry, Titan is exposed to quasi-dipolar fields in the noon sector, and planetward, swept-back fields in the dawn, dusk and midnight sectors. These magnetic properties indicate that the moon is, on average, south of the central current sheet and immersed in Saturn's rotating magnetospheric plasma for all local times (SLT). At a given SLT, Titan's distance from the central current sheet associated with the magnetodisk depends on the solar wind pressure and on the phase of the Saturn's kilometric radiation (SKR). The influence of the solar wind is present at all SLT (although dominant in the noon sector), whereas the SKR modulation seems to affect the magnetic field to first-order at least in the dawn sector. Near dawn local times, Titan tends to be farther from the disk at SKR longitudes around not, vert, similar140° and closer to it for longitudes around not, vert, similar320°. Depending on these factors, Titan is exposed to either: (i) a ‘magnetodisk lobe’ regime where the plasma beta is low and fields are radially ‘stretched’ and usually stronger or (ii) a ‘current sheet’ regime—characterized by quasi-dipolar, relatively weak fields and a high-beta plasma.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Planetary magnetospheres, Magnetodisk, Titan, plasma interactions with unmagnetized bodies
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences > UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2011 13:08
    Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3883

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