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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 26, issue 9
Ann. Geophys., 26, 2631–2644, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-26-2631-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 26, 2631–2644, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-26-2631-2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  09 Sep 2008

09 Sep 2008

Analysis of plasma waves observed in the inner Saturn magnetosphere

J. D. Menietti1, O. Santolik2, A. M. Rymer3, G. B. Hospodarsky1, D. A. Gurnett1, and A. J. Coates4 J. D. Menietti et al.
  • 1Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Van Allen Hall, Iowa City, IA, USA
  • 2Inst. of Atmospheric Physics, ASCR, and Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 3Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD, USA
  • 4Mullard Space Science Lab., University College London, Dorking, UK

Abstract. Plasma waves observed in the Saturn magnetosphere provide an indication of the plasma population present in the rotationally dominated inner magnetosphere. Electrostatic cyclotron emissions often with harmonics and whistler mode emission are a common feature of Saturn's inner magnetosphere. The electron observations for a region near 5 RS outside and near a plasma injection region indicate a cooler low-energy (<100 eV), nearly isotropic plasma, and a much warmer (E>1000 eV) more pancake or butterfly distribution. We model the electron plasma distributions to conduct a linear dispersion analysis of the wave modes. The results suggest that the electrostatic electron cyclotron emissions can be generated by phase space density gradients associated with a loss cone that may be up to 20° wide. This loss cone is sometimes, but not always, observed because the field of view of the electron detectors does not include the magnetic field line at the time of the observations. The whistler mode emission can be generated by the pancake-like distribution and temperature anisotropy (T/T||>1) of the warmer plasma population.

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