DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 21. Titan III
Poster, Highlighted on, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 3:00-5:30pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[21.08] 3-D Modeling of Saturnís Titan Generated Nitrogen Cloud

H. T. Smith, R. E. Johnson, M. Michael (University of Virginia), V. Shematovich (Institute of Astronomy RAS), E. Sittler (NASA GSFC)

Recently, plasma-induced sputtering of Titanís atmosphere has been shown to be a source of neutral nitrogen in Saturnís magnetosphere comparable to the photo-dissociation source (Shematovich et al. J. Geophys. Res. 2003). This nitrogen can become ionized contributing to the Saturnian plasma. The ionized nitrogen can then diffuse inward becoming a source of energetic nitrogen in the inner magnetosphere. The energetic nitrogen ions so formed can be a significant source of sputtering and implantation on the surfaces of the inner icy satellites.

We have developed a 3-D computational model to simulate particle interactions and generate neutral cloud densities in the saturnian system with detailed resolution of regions close to the satellite source. The goal of this model is to simulate Titan N and N2 sources, solar UV and magnetospheric electron dissociation and ionization, interactions with the Saturnian magnetospheric plasma, and a chemistry network with ion-molecule, neutral-neutral, and molecular ion dissociative recombination reactions. In this presentation, we calculate the N neutral cloud morphology produced by sputtering and dissociation from Titanís atmosphere with the associated nitrogen plasma sources. We also examine the sensitivity of the nitrogen cloud morphology to the N and N2 ejection velocities.

Work supported by NASA's Planetary Atmosphere Program, NASAís Graduate Student Research Program and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium.


The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: hts4f@virginia.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.