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Warping of Saturn's magnetospheric and magnetotail current sheets

Arridge, CS; Khurana, KK; Russell, CT; Southwood, DJ; Achilleos, N; Dougherty, MK; Coates, AJ; (2008) Warping of Saturn's magnetospheric and magnetotail current sheets. J GEOPHYS RES-SPACE , 113 (A8) , Article A08217. 10.1029/2007JA012963.

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The magnetotails of Jupiter and Earth are known to be hinged so that their orientation is controlled by the magnetic field of the planet at small distances and asymptotically approach the direction of the flow of the solar wind at large distances. In this paper we present Cassini observations showing that Saturn's magnetosphere is also similarly hinged. Furthermore, we find that Saturn's magnetosphere is not only hinged in the tail but also on the dayside, in contrast to the Jovian and terrestrial magnetospheres. Over the midnight, dawn, and noon local time sectors we find that the current sheet is displaced above Saturn's rotational equator, and thus the current sheet adopts the shape of a bowl or basin. We present a model to describe the warped current sheet geometry and show that in order to properly describe the magnetic field in the magnetosphere, this hinging must be incorporated. We discuss the impact on plasma observations made in Saturn's equatorial plane, the influence on Titan's magnetospheric interaction, and the effect of periodicities on the mean current sheet structure.

Type: Article
Title: Warping of Saturn's magnetospheric and magnetotail current sheets
DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012963
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/169563
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