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    A model of the spatial and size distribution of Enceladus׳ dust plume

    Meier, P. and Kriegel, H. and Motschmann, U. and Schmidt, J. and Spahn, F. and Hill, T.W. and Dong, Y. and Jones, Geraint H. (2014) A model of the spatial and size distribution of Enceladus׳ dust plume. Planetary and Space Science 104B , pp. 216-233. ISSN 0032-0633.

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    The structure of Enceladus׳ south polar plume of charged dust is studied by simulations of the dust grain dynamics. The model considers the Lorentz force and charging of the grains by the plasma environment within the plume. Simulated dust plumes are investigated by applying 10 selected sets of dust parameters that include variations of the grain production rate, the slope of the grain size distribution and the start conditions (velocity, direction) of the grains. The modeled dust plume profiles are in good agreement with nanograin data of Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS). Major results are (1) due to the local plasma environment the nanograins are accelerated by the Lorentz force and form a structured tail; (2) due to the finite charging time the peak dust charge density is located about 0.3–0.6rE0.3–0.6rE below Enceladus׳ south pole; (3) nanograins smaller than 10 nm are more than 99% of the produced dust; (4) CAPS data are best matched if the nanograins are launched with high, collimated start velocities; (5) the grain charging time is crucially affected by inhomogeneities in the local plasma environment.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Enceladus, Plume, Nanograins, Cassini, Tail
    School: School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences > UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2014 12:16
    Last Modified: 21 Jan 2015 16:09


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