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    Cusp observation at Saturn's high-latitude magnetosphere by the Cassini spacecraft

    Jasinski, J.M. and Arridge, Chris S. and Lamy, L. and Leisner, J.S. and Thomsen, M.F. and Mitchell, D.G. and Coates, Andrew J. and Radioti, A. and Jones, G.H. and Roussos, E. and Krupp, N. and Grodent, D. and Dougherty, M.K. and Waite, J.H. (2014) Cusp observation at Saturn's high-latitude magnetosphere by the Cassini spacecraft. Geophysical Research Letters 41 (5), pp. 1382-1388. ISSN 0094-8276.

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    We report on the first analysis of magnetospheric cusp observations at Saturn by multiple in situ instruments onboard the Cassini spacecraft. Using this we infer the process of reconnection was occurring at Saturn's magnetopause. This agrees with remote observations that showed the associated auroral signatures of reconnection. Cassini crossed the northern cusp around noon local time along a poleward trajectory. The spacecraft observed ion energy-latitude dispersions—a characteristic signature of the terrestrial cusp. This ion dispersion is “stepped,” which shows that the reconnection is pulsed. The ion energy-pitch angle dispersions suggest that the field-aligned distance from the cusp to the reconnection site varies between ∼27 and 51 RS. An intensification of lower frequencies of the Saturn kilometric radiation emissions suggests the prior arrival of a solar wind shock front, compressing the magnetosphere and providing more favorable conditions for magnetopause reconnection.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): cusp, reconnection, plasma, dispersion, Cassini
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2014 11:06
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:14


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