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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 25, issue 11
Ann. Geophys., 25, 2359-2369, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-2359-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 25, 2359-2369, 2007
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-25-2359-2007
© Author(s) 2007. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  29 Nov 2007

29 Nov 2007

On magnetospheric electron impact ionisation and dynamics in Titan's ram-side and polar ionosphere – a Cassini case study

K. Agren1, J.-E. Wahlund1, R. Modolo1, D. Lummerzheim2, M. Galand3, I. Müller-Wodarg3, P. Canu4, W. S. Kurth5, T. E. Cravens6, R. V. Yelle7, J. H. Waite Jr.8, A. J. Coates9, G. R. Lewis9, D. T. Young10, C. Bertucci3, and M. K. Dougherty3 K. Agren et al.
  • 1Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Box 537, 751 21 Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
  • 3Space and Atmospheric Physics Group, Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BW, UK
  • 4Centre d'Étude des Environnements Terrestre et Planétaires/CNRS/Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, 78140 Vélizy-Villacoublay, France
  • 5Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
  • 6Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
  • 7Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
  • 8Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
  • 9Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
  • 10Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78238, USA

Abstract. We present data from the sixth Cassini flyby of Titan (T5), showing that the magnetosphere of Saturn strongly interacts with the moon's ionosphere and exo-ionosphere. A simple electron ionisation model provides a reasonable agreement with the altitude structure of the ionosphere. Furthermore, we suggest that the dense and cold exo-ionosphere (from the exobase at 1430 km and outward to several Titan radii from the surface) can be explained by magnetospheric forcing and other transport processes whereas exospheric ionisation by impacting low energy electrons seems to play a minor role.

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