Bonn 2010 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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EP: Fachverband Extraterrestrische Physik

EP 10: Planets and Small Bodies III

EP 10.2: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 17. März 2010, 14:15–14:30, AKM

Titan's highly dynamic magnetic environment: A systematic survey of Cassini MAG observations from flybys TA-T62 — •Sven Simon1, Fritz M. Neubauer1, Alexandre Wennmacher1, Hendrik A. Kriegel2, and Joachim S. Saur11Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Germany — 2Institute for Theoretical Physics, TU Braunschweig, Germany

We analyze the variability of the ambient magnetic field near Titan during Cassini encounters TA-T62 (October 2004--October 2009). Cassini MAG data show that the moon's magnetic environment is strongly affected by its proximity to Saturn's warped and highly dynamic magnetodisk. In the nightside sector of Saturn's magnetosphere, the magnetic field near Titan is controlled by intense vertical flapping motions of the magnetodisk current sheet, alternately exposing the moon to radially stretched lobe-type fields and to more dipolar, but highly distorted current sheet fields. In southern summer, when most of the Cassini encounters took place, the magnetodisk current sheet was on average located above Titan's orbital plane. However, around equinox in August 2009, the distortions of Titan's magnetic environment due to the rapidly moving current sheet reached a maximum, thus suggesting that the equilibrium position of the sheet at that time was significantly closer to the moon's orbital plane. In the dayside magnetosphere, the formation of the magnetodisk lobes is partially suppressed due to the proximity of the magnetopause. Therefore, during most encounters that took place near noon, Titan was embedded in highly distorted current sheet fields.

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