Letter | Published:

Equatorial confinement of thermal plasma near the rings of Saturn

Naturevolume 302pages599600 (1983) | Download Citation

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Abstract

In the unique environment of the rings of Saturn, because of a combination of the magnetic field geometry and the meteroid impact ionization at the ring plane, a thin plasma disk having a total thickness of no more than a few per cent of the planetary radius might exist in the vicinity of the ring system. The radial transport of this ring plasma to larger radial distances may act as an important source of the thermal plasma in Saturn's mag-netosphere. I suggest here that the recent observations by the Voyager 2 Plasma Science team are not inconsistent with this scenario.

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Affiliations

  1. Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, D-3411, Katlenburg-Lindau, 3, FRG

    • W.-H. Ip

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https://doi.org/10.1038/302599a0

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