37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 65 Planetary Magnetospheres
Oral, Friday, September 9, 2005, 11:00am-12:30pm, Law LG19

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[65.01] The Cassini View of Saturn's Magnetosphere

M. Blanc, N. André, S. Maurice, E. Pallier (CESR, France), T. Gombosi, K.-C. Hansen (U. Michigan), S. Bolton (NASA/JPL), D. Young, F. Crary (SwRI), A. Coates (Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UK), E. Sittler (NASA/GSFC), M. Dougherty (Imperial College, London, UK), D. Gurnett, W. Kurth (U. Iowa), P. Louarn (CESR, France), T. Krimigis, D. Mitchell (APL), I. Dandouras (CESR, France), N. Krupp (MPI Lindau, Germany), L. Esposito (LASP, U. Colorado), D. Shemansky (U. Southern California), R. Srama, S. Kempf (MPI Heidelberg, Germany), MAPS investigators

The first year of orbital operations of the Cassini spacecraft around Saturn has revealed a much more accurate view of Saturn's magnetosphere than we had before, thanks to two key elements:

1 -- The comprehensive suite of Cassini Magnetosphere and Plasmas instruments (MAG, CAPS, MIMI, RPWS, CDA, and UVIS), which is accessible to all co-investigators through the recently-developed MAPS-KP data base, provides a detailed coverage of fields, plasma populations and wave modes;

2 -- The orbital tour just started to give us access to the 3-D structure of Saturnís magnetosphere and its large temporal variability. We shall describe some of the most interesting features of this emerging new view of Saturn's magnetosphere, which include:

- a global dynamics strongly influenced by the solar wind interaction, which produces specific features in the radio and auroral emissions and in the role played by particle injections from the tail,

- a very dynamic inner plasma torus, dominated by water-group ions and likely controlled by its coupling to Saturn's neutral oxygen cloud, which displays a host of radial transport signatures,

- a very interesting rings' plasma environment, subject to electrodynamic coupling phenomena between ring and dust particles, charged particles and the tenuous rings atmosphere,

- Titan's magnetospheric interactions, described in unprecedented detail, and Titan's ionosphere itself, with its complex ion chemistry,

- and the rich variety of satellite magnetospheric interactions, whose study led to the discovery of an unexpected atmosphere at Enceladus. Overall, Cassini reveals to us a very unique magnetosphere, which interacts with all components of the Saturn system - atmospheres, satellites, rings, neutral clouds - in different ways and contributes to a really interdisciplinary investigation of this fascinating world.

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