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  The formation of saturn's and jupiter's electron radiation belts by magnetospheric electric fields

Hao, Y.-X., Sun, Y.-X., Roussos, E., Liu, Y., Kollmann, P., Yuan, C.-J., et al. (2020). The formation of saturn's and jupiter's electron radiation belts by magnetospheric electric fields. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 905(1): L10. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/abca3f.

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 Creators:
Hao, Y.-X.1, Author
Sun, Y.-X.1, Author
Roussos, Elias1, Author              
Liu, Y., Author
Kollmann, P., Author
Yuan, C.-J., Author
Krupp, Norbert1, Author              
Paranicas, C., Author
Zhou, X.-Z., Author
Murakami, G., Author
Kita, H., Author
Zong, Q.-G., Author
Affiliations:
1Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832288              

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 Abstract: The existence of planetary radiation belts with relativistic electron components means that powerful acceleration mechanisms are operating within their volume. Mechanisms that bring charged particles planetward toward stronger magnetic fields can cause their heating. On the basis that electron fluxes in Saturn's radiation belts are enhanced over discrete energy intervals, previous studies have suggested that rapid inward plasma flows may be controlling the production of their most energetic electrons. However, rapid plasma inflows languish in the planet's inner magnetosphere, and they are not spatially appealing as a mechanism to form the belts. Here we show that slow, global-scale flows resulting from transient noon-to-midnight electric fields successfully explain the discretized flux spectra at quasi- and fully relativistic energies, and that they are ultimately responsible for the bulk of the highest energy electrons trapped at Saturn. This finding is surprising, given that plasma flows at Saturn are dominated by the planetary rotation; these weak electric field perturbations were previously considered impactful only over a very narrow electron energy range where the magnetic drifts of electrons cancel out with corotation. We also find quantitative evidence that ultrarelativistic electrons in Jupiter's radiation belts are accelerated by the same mechanism. Given that similar processes at Earth drive a less efficient electron transport compared to Saturn and Jupiter, the conclusion is emerging that global-scale electric fields can provide powerful relativistic electron acceleration, especially at strongly magnetized and fast-rotating astrophysical objects.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/abca3f
 Degree: -

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Title: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  Other : Astrophys. J. Lett.
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
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Publ. Info: Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 905 (1) Sequence Number: L10 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215