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Title: Periodic motion of Saturn's nightside plasma sheet
Authors: Arridge, C. S.
Andre, N.
Khurana, K. K.
Russell, C. T.
Cowley, S. W. H.
Provan, G.
Andrews, D. J.
Jackman, C. M.
Coates, A. J.
Sittler, E. C.
Dougherty, M. K.
Young, D. T.
First Published: 5-Nov-2011
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU); Wiley
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research-SPACE PHYSICS, 2011, 116
Abstract: [1] Saturn's magnetosphere is replete with magnetospheric periodicities; magnetic fields, plasma parameters, energetic particle fluxes, and radio emissions have all been observed to vary at a period close to that of Saturn's assumed sidereal rotation rate. In particular, periodicities in Saturn's magnetotail can be interpreted in terms of periodic vertical motion of Saturn's outer magnetospheric plasma sheet. The phase relationships between periodicities in different measurable quantities are a key piece of information in validating the various published models that attempt to relate periodicities in different quantities at different locations. It is important to empirically extract these phase relationships from the data in order to distinguish between these models, and to provide further data on which to base new conceptual models. In this paper a simple structural model of the flapping of Saturn's plasma sheet is developed and fitted to plasma densities in the outer magnetosphere, measured by the Cassini electron spectrometer. This model is used to establish the phase relationships between magnetic field periodicities in the cam region of the magnetosphere and the flapping of the plasma sheet. We find that the plasma sheet flaps in phase with Br and Bθ and in quadrature with the Bϕ component in the core/cam region. The plasma sheet phase also has a strong local time asymmetry. These results support some conceptual periodicity models but are in apparent contradiction with others, suggesting that future work is required to either modify the models or study additional phase relationships that are important for these models.
DOI Link: 10.1029/2011JA016827
ISSN: 0148-0227
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2011 by the American Geophysical Union. All rights reserved. Archived with reference to Usage Permissions granted to authors, available at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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