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    Rights statement: ©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.

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Field dipolarization in Saturn's magnetotail with planetward ion flows and energetic particle flow bursts: evidence of quasi-steady reconnection

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  • C. M. Jackman
  • M. F. Thomsen
  • D. G. Mitchell
  • N. Sergis
  • C. S. Arridge
  • M. Felici
  • S. V. Badman
  • C. Paranicas
  • X. Jia
  • G. B. Hospodarksy
  • M. Andriopoulou
  • K. K. Khurana
  • A. W. Smith
  • M. K. Dougherty
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
Volume120
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)3603-3617
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date19/05/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

We present a case study of an event from 20 August (day 232) of 2006, when the Cassini spacecraft was sampling the region near 32 R-S and 22 h LT in Saturn's magnetotail. Cassini observed a strong northward-to-southward turning of the magnetic field, which is interpreted as the signature of dipolarization of the field as seen by the spacecraft planetward of the reconnection X line. This event was accompanied by very rapid (up to similar to 1500 km s(-1)) thermal plasma flow toward the planet. At energies above 28 keV, energetic hydrogen and oxygen ion flow bursts were observed to stream planetward from a reconnection site downtail of the spacecraft. Meanwhile, a strong field-aligned beam of energetic hydrogen was also observed to stream tailward, likely from an ionospheric source. Saturn kilometric radiation emissions were stimulated shortly after the observation of the dipolarization. We discuss the field, plasma, energetic particle, and radio observations in the context of the impact this reconnection event had on global magnetospheric dynamics.

Bibliographic note

©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.