DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 40. Outer Planets/Gas Giants IV
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[40.11] A model for neutral cloud at Saturn

S. Jurac, J. D. Richardson (MIT)

HST observations of OH in the inner Saturn's magnetosphere revealed a dense neutral cloud (Shemantsky et al., 1993) with neutral densities by far exceeding plasma densities. This toroidal cloud is presumably composed of water-group neutrals (H2O, OH, O, H, O2, H2), which slowly orbit Saturn until they are dissociated to form plasma ions and electrons. The neutral cloud with total neutral number densities exceeding 3000 cm-3, indicates the presence of a strong water-vapor source near Enceladus.

We expand our previous model which described OH population (Jurac et al. 2002) to include other water-group neutrals. We show the density and composition of the neutral gas near Saturn and use this gas as a source for a model of plasma chemistry and transport. The self-consistency between neutral and plasma production was required, using Voyager plasma observations and HST OH measurements as constraints. We derive expected density contours for each spices and discuss the implications, in anticipation of Cassini's arrival at Saturn.

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

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