Composition and dynamics of plasma in Saturn's magnetosphere

D.T. Young (Corresponding Author), J.-J. Berthelier, M. Blanc, J.L. Burch, S. Bolton, A.J. Coates, F.J. Crary, R. Goldstein, M. Grande, T.W. Hill, R.E. Johnson, R.A. Baragiola, Väinö Kelha, D.J. McComas, K. Mursula, E.C. Sittler, K.R. Svenes, K. Szegö, P. Tanskanen, M.F. ThomsenS. Bakshi, B.L. Barraclough, Z. Bebesi, D. Delapp, M.W. Dunlop, J.T. Gosling, J.D. Furman, L.K. Gilbert, D. Glenn, Christer Holmlund, J.-M.. Illiano, G.R. Lewis, D.R. Linder, S. Maurice, H.J. McAndrews, B.T. Narheim, E. Pallier, D. Reisenfeld, A.M. Rymer, H.T. Smith, R.L. Tokar, J. Vilppola, C. Zinsmeyer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    256 Citations (Scopus)


    During Cassini's initial orbit, we observed a dynamic magnetosphere composed primarily of a complex mixture of water-derived atomic and molecular ions. We have identified four distinct regions characterized by differences in both bulk plasma properties and ion composition. Protons are the dominant species outside about 9 RS (where RS is the radial distance from the center of Saturn), whereas inside, the plasma consists primarily of a corotating comet-like mix of water-derived ions with ∼3% N+. Over the A and B rings, we found an ionosphere in which O2+ and O+ are dominant, which suggests the possible existence of a layer of O2 gas similar to the atmospheres of Europa and Ganymede.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1262 - 1266
    Number of pages5
    Issue number5713
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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