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Local time asymmetries in Saturn’s magnetosphere

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Publication date10/2017
Host publicationDawn‐Dusk Asymmetries in Planetary Plasma Environments
EditorsStein Haaland, Andrei Runov, Colin Forsyth
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
Pages323-336
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781119216346
ISBN (Print)9781119216322
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union

Abstract

The Cassini orbiter has observed the magnetosphere of Saturn in situ from July 2004 to the present. The spacecraft has visited nearly all local times and a large range of latitudes, including both northern and southern hemispheres, for a large fraction of a Saturn year (=29 Earth years). Local time asymmetries have been observed in the thermal plasma, the energetic particles, energetic neutral atoms, magnetic fields and aurora. Some of these are dawn-to-dusk asymmetries and have Earth-like analogies. Unlike Earth’s magnetosphere, however, Saturn’s magnetosphere is rotationally dominated, has no observable tilt relative to the spin axis, and has a major internal plasma and neutrals source in the icy moon Enceladus. These factors contribute to a number of local time asymmetries that are not dawn-to-dusk. This paper reviews Saturn’s local time asymmetries in charged particles, magnetic fields, and energetic neutral atoms, showing how some are Earth-like and some are not.