Saturn's Magnetosphere Facts

Here are a bunch of factoids about Saturn's Magnetosphere, which is illustrated above:

The solar wind/Saturn magnetosphere interaction occurs at solar wind sonic- and Alfvenic-Mach numbers in the range of 10-20. The solar wind electron temperature at Saturn is about 10 eV.

The typical standoff distance (detachment length) for Saturn's bow shock is between 20 and 35 Rs (Rs= Saturn's radius = 60,330 km).

The thickness of the bow shock is about 2,000 km or 0.033 Rs.

The electron temperature ratio across the Saturn bow shock can be as much as 50.
The sunward location of Saturn's magnetopause is typically in the range between 17 and 24 Rs.

Saturn's internal magnetic field has been found to be well approximated by a dipole moment of 0.21 Gauss at 1 Rs and, unlike other planets, to have an orientation that is closely aligned with the planet's axis of rotation (within 1 degree).

Saturn's magnetosphere appears to be intermediate in nature to those of Earth and Jupiter. As is the case with the Jovian magnetosphere, the dayside inner magnetosphere is mostly driven by the fast planetary rotation. However, with the disappearance of the ionospheric current system at night, it is expected that the nightside and outer magnetosphere is primarily driven by the solar wind, as is the case with the terrestrial magnetosphere.

The equatorial ring current is about 10,000,000 A and is confined to a 5 Rs thick annulus with inner and outer radii of about 8 and 16 Rs, respectively.

The presence of the hydrogen and nitrogen torus produced by Titan directly affects tht outer magnetosphere. The torus maintains the plasma density in the outer magnetosphere between 0.01 and 0.5 ions per cc and leads to plasma temperatures of about 100,000 K.

Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR) is the principal radio emission from Saturn. SKR appears to be linked to the transport of electrons from the solar wind plasma deep into the polar cusp where radiation is generated near the local electron gyrofrequency.

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