Lecturer: Dr Pontus Brandt (APL) Date: 2005-01-27 10:00 Place: Aniara
The Giant Magnetosphere: Cassini/INCA results
Cassini is a NASA mission launched 1997 and was inserted into orbit around
Saturn in July 2004. Cassini carries the Magnetosphere Imaging Instrument
(MIMI) suite, which consists of one ENA imager and one electron and ion
spectrometer, and one ion composition analyzer. The data have reveal a
very dynamic magnetosphere extending out to 50-60 Saturn Radii (Rs). Due
to Saturn's strong magnetic field and rapid rotation period, all plasma
corotates with the planet. Energetic ions are frequently injected into the
nightside magnetosphere, where they immediately start to corotate. This
Saturnian ring current is believed to be lost by charge exchange due to
the high neutral gas densities of the E-ring, consisting mainly of water
products in a confined region around the equator.
Furthermore, three Titan flybys have provided remote ENA measurement and
in-situ ion and electron measurements showing a complicated interaction
between the neutral gas cloud/atmosphere around Titan and the corotating
plasma that sweeps over Titan with speeds around 150 km/s.
The latest highlights of the findings of the MIMI team will be reported.
Created 2005-01-25 09:30:28 by Rick McGregor Last changed 2005-01-25 11:24:58 by Rick McGregor