Examination of North-South symmetry in Saturn’s sub-corotating Magnetosphere: Cassini

Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Edward J Smith, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States; Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, London, United Kingdom and Michele Karen Dougherty, Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, London, SW7, United Kingdom
We previously investigated Saturn’s sub-corotating mass-loaded spiraling magnetosphere using observations of Bφ (the azimuthal magnetic field component) in14 identical Cassini orbits near midnight in the Southern hemisphere from 0° to -80 °latitude . The basic equation representing the Magnetospheric- Ionospheric- Interaction (M-I-A), developed by Hill (1979) for Jupiter and modified by Cowley and Bunce (2002) for Saturn, is: Ip = Σp (1- ω/Ωs). Ip is the Ionospheric Pedersen Current; G is obtained from ionospheric radius, Ri, colatitude, θi, and the planetary magnetic field, Bs; Σp is altitude-integrated Pedersen conductivity; ω and Ωs are the angular rotation rates of the magnetospheric field and of Saturn Kilometric Radiation, a proxy for the planetary field rotation. The relation should hold irrespective of how the mass originates an important consideration since plasma injections are frequently imposed on radial outflow from the inner magnetosphere and used to obtain ω. Ampere’s law relates Ip (Ri, θi) to Bφ (r, θ, radial distance and colatitude). It has been found that I/G = A exp(-Bθi), an exponential dependence that was not predicted, and implies that A= Σp while the exponential yields (1- ω/Ωs) so ω(θi) is determined. The derived values of ω yield a quasi-linear function of equatorial distance or L. (This dependence and an alternative expression for Ip/G also imply that ionospheric neutrals rotate at the same rate as Bs). Σp varies between 7.5 and 1.1 mho and ω(L) also varies significantly orbit-to-orbit. These are temporal variations since the orbits are spatially identical. ω(L) has been compared with ω(L) in publications based on azimuthal rotation velocity, Vφ. Hill(1979) is used to study M*, the rate of mass outflow. The general approach above has now been applied to the Northern hemisphere and the same 14 orbits. We report on the important issue of North-South symmetries and asymmetries.