SPACE AND COSMIC RAY PHYSICS SEMINAR

University of Maryland
Atlantic Building, Room 2400
4:30 PM Monday, October 16, 2006
Coffee, Tea & Snacks 4:15-4:30 PM

Chris Paranicas
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

The Inner Magnetosphere of Saturn as Revealed by the Cassini Spacecraft

The Cassini spacecraft has been in orbit around Saturn since the summer of 2004. Onboard Cassini is a three-sensor instrument, the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI). MIMI has made extensive measurements in the inner magnetosphere, a region occupied by the main and other rings, many icy satellites, dust, and a very large cloud of neutral atoms and molecules. Charged particles coexist with all this material but for each energy and species there are characteristics loss processes, such as charge-exchange or satellite surface impacts. In charge-exchange, the initial ion becomes an Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) and the flux of these ENAs are imaged remotely by MIMI. We will present some recent data from Cassini and discuss equilibrium and dynamic features of its magnetosphere.