Current density in Saturn’s equatorial current sheet : Cassini magnetometer observations

Martin, Carley and Arridge, Christopher Stephen (2019) Current density in Saturn’s equatorial current sheet : Cassini magnetometer observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 124 (1). pp. 279-292. ISSN 2169-9402

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The equatorial current sheet at Saturn is the result of a rapidly rotating magnetosphere. The sheet itself exhibits periodic seasonal and diurnal movements as well as aperiodic movements of a currently unknown origin, along with periodic thickening and thinning of the magnetodisc, and azimuthal changes in the thickness due to local effects in the magnetosphere. In this paper aperiodic movements of the magnetodisc are utilized to calculate the height‐integrated current density of the current sheet using a Harris current sheet model deformed by a Gaussian wave function. We find a local time asymmetry in both the radial and azimuthal height‐integrated current density. We note that the local time relationship with height‐integrated current density is similar to the relationship seen at Jupiter, where a peak of ∼0.04 A/m at ∼3 SLT (Saturn local time) is seen inside 20 RS. The divergence of the radial and azimuthal current densities are used to infer the parallel currents, which are seen to diverge from the equator in the prenoon sector and enter the equator in the premidnight sector.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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Accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics. Copyright 2019 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.
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16 Jan 2019 15:05
Last Modified:
20 May 2024 00:10