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Auroral hiss, electron beams and standing Alfven wave currents near Saturn's moon Enceladus

Gurnett, DA; Averkamp, TF; Schippers, P; Persoon, AM; Hospodarsky, GB; Leisner, JS; Kurth, WS; ... Dougherty, MK; + view all (2011) Auroral hiss, electron beams and standing Alfven wave currents near Saturn's moon Enceladus. Geophysical Research Letters , 38 , Article L06102. 10.1029/2011GL046854. Green open access

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Abstract

Observations from the Cassini spacecraft have shown that Saturn's small icy moon Enceladus ejects a plume of water vapor and small ice particles into Saturn's rapidly co-rotating magnetosphere. In this paper we show that the interaction of the moon with the magnetospheric plasma produces a number of electrodynamics effects that are remarkably similar to those observed in Earth's auroral regions and near Jupiter's moon Io. These include whistler-mode emissions similar to terrestrial auroral hiss, magnetic-field-aligned electron beams, and currents associated with a standing Alfven wave excited by the moon. Ray path analyses of the auroral hiss show that the electron beams responsible for the emissions are accelerated very close to the moon, most likely by parallel electric fields associated with the Alfven wave. However, other possibilities such as electric fields due to electrostatic charging of the moon's surface or of particles in the water vapor plume should be considered. Citation: Gurnett, D. A., et al. (2011), Auroral hiss, electron beams and standing Alfven wave currents near Saturn's moon Enceladus, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L06102, doi:10.1029/2011GL046854.

Type: Article
Title: Auroral hiss, electron beams and standing Alfven wave currents near Saturn's moon Enceladus
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2011GL046854
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL046854
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords: VLF hiss, Polar magnetosphere, Io, Satellite, Atmosphere, Plasma, Field
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1302941
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