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Title: Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere

Abstract

Using measurements from the Cassini spacecraft in Saturn’s magnetosphere, we propose a 3D physical picture of a corotating reconnection site, which can only be driven by an internally generated source. Our results demonstrate that the corotating magnetic reconnection can drive an expansion of the current sheet in Saturn’s magnetosphere and, consequently, can produce Fermi acceleration of electrons. This reconnection site lasted for longer than one of Saturn’s rotation period. The long-lasting and corotating natures of the magnetic reconnection site at Saturn suggest fundamentally different roles of magnetic reconnection in driving magnetospheric dynamics (e.g., the auroral precipitation) from the Earth. Our corotating reconnection picture could also potentially shed light on the fast rotating magnetized plasma environments in the solar system and beyond.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]; ; ;  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Dorking RH5 6NT (United Kingdom)
  2. Laboratoire de Physique Atmosphérique et Planétaire, STAR institute, Université de Liège, B-4000 Liège (Belgium)
  3. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Space and Atmospheric Physics Group, Department of Physics, London SW7 2BW (United Kingdom)
  4. Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China)
  5. School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing (China)
  6. Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22654391
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 846; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCELERATION; ELECTRONS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; PLASMA; PRECIPITATION; ROTATION; SATURN PLANET; SOLAR SYSTEM; SPACE VEHICLES; VISIBLE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Yao, Z. H., Coates, A. J., Ray, L. C., Rae, I. J., Jones, G. H., Owen, C. J., Dunn, W. R., Lewis, G. R., Grodent, D., Radioti, A., Gérard, J.-C., Dougherty, M. K., Guo, R. L., Pu, Z. Y., and Waite, J. H., E-mail: z.yao@ucl.ac.uk. Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA88AF.
Yao, Z. H., Coates, A. J., Ray, L. C., Rae, I. J., Jones, G. H., Owen, C. J., Dunn, W. R., Lewis, G. R., Grodent, D., Radioti, A., Gérard, J.-C., Dougherty, M. K., Guo, R. L., Pu, Z. Y., & Waite, J. H., E-mail: z.yao@ucl.ac.uk. Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA88AF.
Yao, Z. H., Coates, A. J., Ray, L. C., Rae, I. J., Jones, G. H., Owen, C. J., Dunn, W. R., Lewis, G. R., Grodent, D., Radioti, A., Gérard, J.-C., Dougherty, M. K., Guo, R. L., Pu, Z. Y., and Waite, J. H., E-mail: z.yao@ucl.ac.uk. Sun . "Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA88AF.
@article{osti_22654391,
title = {Corotating Magnetic Reconnection Site in Saturn’s Magnetosphere},
author = {Yao, Z. H. and Coates, A. J. and Ray, L. C. and Rae, I. J. and Jones, G. H. and Owen, C. J. and Dunn, W. R. and Lewis, G. R. and Grodent, D. and Radioti, A. and Gérard, J.-C. and Dougherty, M. K. and Guo, R. L. and Pu, Z. Y. and Waite, J. H., E-mail: z.yao@ucl.ac.uk},
abstractNote = {Using measurements from the Cassini spacecraft in Saturn’s magnetosphere, we propose a 3D physical picture of a corotating reconnection site, which can only be driven by an internally generated source. Our results demonstrate that the corotating magnetic reconnection can drive an expansion of the current sheet in Saturn’s magnetosphere and, consequently, can produce Fermi acceleration of electrons. This reconnection site lasted for longer than one of Saturn’s rotation period. The long-lasting and corotating natures of the magnetic reconnection site at Saturn suggest fundamentally different roles of magnetic reconnection in driving magnetospheric dynamics (e.g., the auroral precipitation) from the Earth. Our corotating reconnection picture could also potentially shed light on the fast rotating magnetized plasma environments in the solar system and beyond.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8213/AA88AF},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
number = 2,
volume = 846,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Sep 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sun Sep 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}