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On the cause of Saturn's plasma periodicity

Burch, JL; Goldstein, J; Mokashi, P; Lewis, WS; Paty, C; Young, DT; ... Andre, N; + view all (2008) On the cause of Saturn's plasma periodicity. Geophysical Research Letters , 35 (14) , Article L14105. 10.1029/2008GL034951. Green open access

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Abstract

Periodic plasma enhancements are examined for all Cassini orbits from December 29, 2005 through September 7, 2006. The events, which have UT durations of 3-4 hours, are centered near SLS3 longitude 10 degrees at radial distances near 15 R-S and at larger W longitudes at larger distances, reaching 180 degrees W by 49 R-S. Magnetic-field data within the events and outside 30 to 35 R-S show signatures of neutral-sheet crossings and magnetic reconnection (i.e., plasmoids). We conclude that plasmoids move outward from 30-35 R-S along a spiral path that rotates with the planet. The duration of these events is similar to that of SKR events, and they are ordered in the SKR-based SLS3 longitude system. A conceptual model, in which the plasmoids are triggered in the pre-midnight quadrant following (with a predictable delay) the appearance of SKR at the magnetopause and then propagate outward in a rotating spiral pattern, can explain the connection among periodicities observed in Saturn's charged particles, magnetic fields, and kilometric radiation.

Type:Article
Title:On the cause of Saturn's plasma periodicity
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1029/2008GL034951
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008GL034951
Language:English
Additional information:Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords:Rotation period, Magnetic-field, Perturbations
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Space and Climate Physics

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