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    Outer magnetospheric structure: Jupiter and Saturn compared

    Went, D.R. and Kivelson, M.G. and Achilleos, Nick and Arridge, Chris S. and Dougherty, M.K. (2011) Outer magnetospheric structure: Jupiter and Saturn compared. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 116 , ISSN 0148-0227.

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    The Jovian dayside magnetosphere is traditionally divided into three different regions with the outermost region, colloquially referred to as the cushion region, existing between the outer edge of the magnetodisk and the magnetopause. Magnetometer and plasma data from 6 different spacecraft are used to determine the average properties of this region, including its characteristic thickness at the subsolar point, and these observations are compared with data from the Saturnian magnetosphere obtained using the Pioneer, Voyager, and Cassini spacecraft. Significant differences are found in the structure of the two rotationally driven magnetospheres with the Saturnian system showing little evidence for the cushion region seen at Jupiter. These differences are discussed in terms of the parameter regimes pertinent to each planet, and the potential effect of magnetodisk warping at Saturn is discussed. It is tentatively suggested that while the Jovian magnetodisk typically breaks down several tens of planetary radii inside the magnetopause, thus allowing plasma-depleted flux tubes beyond it to relax into the cushion region configuration, the Saturnian magnetodisk may persist until much closer to the magnetospheric boundary. A number of observational tests of this hypothesis are proposed, and the need for improved observations at both planets is stressed.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2011 09:12
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:55


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