Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Asymmetries observed in Saturn's magnetopause g...

Associated organisational unit

Electronic data

  • Pilkington_et_al_2015_Geophysical_Research_Letters

    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.

    Final published version, 812 KB, PDF-document

    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Asymmetries observed in Saturn's magnetopause geometry

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
  • N. M. Pilkington
  • N. Achilleos
  • C. S. Arridge
  • P. Guio
  • A. Masters
  • Licia Ray
  • N. Sergis
  • M. F. Thomsen
  • A. J. Coates
  • M. K. Dougherty
Close
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/09/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Geophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
Volume42
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)6890-6898
<mark>State</mark>Published
Early online date17/08/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

For over 10 years, the Cassini spacecraft has patrolled Saturn's magnetosphere and observed its magnetopause boundary over a wide range of prevailing solar wind and interior plasma conditions. We now have data that enable us to resolve a significant dawn-dusk asymmetry and find that the magnetosphere extends farther from the planet on the dawnside of the planet by 7 +/- 1%. In addition, an opposing dawn-dusk asymmetry in the suprathermal plasma pressure adjacent to the magnetopause has been observed. This probably acts to reduce the size asymmetry and may explain the discrepancy between the degree of asymmetry found here and a similar asymmetry found by Kivelson and Jia (2014) using MHD simulations. Finally, these observations sample a wide range of season, allowing the "intrinsic" polar flattening (14 +/- 1%) caused by the magnetodisc to be separated from the seasonally induced north-south asymmetry in the magnetopause shape found theoretically (5 +/- 1% when the planet's magnetic dipole is tilted away from the Sun by 10-17 degrees).