Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/39565
Title: Field-aligned currents in Saturn's magnetosphere: Local time dependence of southern summer currents in the dawn sector between midnight and noon
Authors: Hunt, G. J.
Cowley, Stanley W. H.
Provan, G.
Bunce, E. J.
Alexeev, I. I.
Belenkaya, E. S.
Kalegaev, V. V.
Dougherty, M. K.
Coates, A. J.
First Published: 6-Aug-2016
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2016, 121 (8), pp. 7785-7804
Abstract: We examine and compare the magnetic field perturbations associated with field-aligned ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling currents at Saturn, observed by the Cassini spacecraft during two sequences of highly inclined orbits in 2006/2007 and 2008 under late southern summer conditions. These sequences explore the southern currents in the dawn-noon and midnight sectors, respectively, thus allowing investigation of possible origins of the local time (LT) asymmetry in auroral Saturn kilometric radiation (SKR) emissions, which peak in power at ~8 h LT in the dawn-noon sector. We first show that the dawn-noon field data generally have the same four-sheet current structure as found previously in the midnight data and that both are similarly modulated by “planetary period oscillation” (PPO) currents. We then separate the averaged PPO-independent (e.g., subcorotation) and PPO-related currents for both LT sectors by using the current system symmetry properties. Surprisingly, we find that the PPO-independent currents are essentially identical within uncertainties in the dawn-dusk and midnight sectors, thus providing no explanation for the LT dependence of the SKR emissions. The main PPO-related currents are, however, found to be slightly stronger and narrower in latitudinal width at dawn-noon than at midnight, leading to estimated precipitating electron powers, and hence emissions, that are on average a factor of ~1.3 larger at dawn-noon than at midnight, inadequate to account for the observed LT asymmetry in SKR power by a factor of ~2.7. Some other factors must also be involved, such as a LT asymmetry in the hot magnetospheric auroral source electron population.
DOI Link: 10.1002/2016JA022712
ISSN: 2169-9402
Links: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JA022712/abstract
http://hdl.handle.net/2381/39565
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2016. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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