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    Periodic motion of Saturn's nightside plasma sheet

    Arridge, Chris S. and André, N. and Khurana, K.K. and Russell, C.T. and Cowley, S.W.H. and Provan, G. and Andrews, D.J. and Jackman, C.M. and Coates, Andrew J. and Sittler, E.C. and Dougherty, M.K. and Young, D.T. (2011) Periodic motion of Saturn's nightside plasma sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 116 (A11), ISSN 0148-0227.

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    [1] Saturn's magnetosphere is replete with magnetospheric periodicities; magnetic fields, plasma parameters, energetic particle fluxes, and radio emissions have all been observed to vary at a period close to that of Saturn's assumed sidereal rotation rate. In particular, periodicities in Saturn's magnetotail can be interpreted in terms of periodic vertical motion of Saturn's outer magnetospheric plasma sheet. The phase relationships between periodicities in different measurable quantities are a key piece of information in validating the various published models that attempt to relate periodicities in different quantities at different locations. It is important to empirically extract these phase relationships from the data in order to distinguish between these models, and to provide further data on which to base new conceptual models. In this paper a simple structural model of the flapping of Saturn's plasma sheet is developed and fitted to plasma densities in the outer magnetosphere, measured by the Cassini electron spectrometer. This model is used to establish the phase relationships between magnetic field periodicities in the cam region of the magnetosphere and the flapping of the plasma sheet. We find that the plasma sheet flaps in phase with Br and Bθ and in quadrature with the Bϕ component in the core/cam region. The plasma sheet phase also has a strong local time asymmetry. These results support some conceptual periodicity models but are in apparent contradiction with others, suggesting that future work is required to either modify the models or study additional phase relationships that are important for these models.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Saturn, magnetosphere, periodicities, plasma sheet
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 09:14
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:14


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