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Asymmetries observed in Saturn's magnetopause geometry

Pilkington, NM; Achilleos, N; Arridge, CS; Guio, P; Masters, A; Ray, LC; Sergis, N; ... Dougherty, MK; + view all (2015) Asymmetries observed in Saturn's magnetopause geometry. Geophysical Research Letters , 42 (17) pp. 6890-6898. 10.1002/2015GL065477. Green open access

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Abstract

For over 10 years, the Cassini spacecraft has patrolled Saturn's magnetosphere and observed its magnetopause boundary over a wide range of prevailing solar wind and interior plasma conditions. We now have data that enable us to resolve a significant dawn-dusk asymmetry and find that the magnetosphere extends farther from the planet on the dawnside of the planet by 7 ± 1%. In addition, an opposing dawn-dusk asymmetry in the suprathermal plasma pressure adjacent to the magnetopause has been observed. This probably acts to reduce the size asymmetry and may explain the discrepancy between the degree of asymmetry found here and a similar asymmetry found by Kivelson and Jia (2014) using MHD simulations. Finally, these observations sample a wide range of season, allowing the "intrinsic" polar flattening (14 ± 1%) caused by the magnetodisc to be separated from the seasonally induced north-south asymmetry in the magnetopause shape found theoretically (5 ± 1% when the planet's magnetic dipole is tilted away from the Sun by 10-17).

Type: Article
Title: Asymmetries observed in Saturn's magnetopause geometry
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/2015GL065477
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015GL065477
Language: English
Additional information: ©2015. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: asymmetry, magnetopause, magnetosphere, plasma, Saturn, season
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 Physics and Astronomy
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/1472685
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