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Sources, sinks and transport of energetic electrons near Saturn's main rings

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Roussos,  Elias
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Krupp,  Norbert
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Roussos, E., Kollmann, P., Krupp, N., Paranicas, C., Dialynas, K., Jones, G. H., et al. (2019). Sources, sinks and transport of energetic electrons near Saturn's main rings. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(7), 3590-3598. doi:10.1029/2018GL078097.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7DD6-0
Abstract
The inner boundary of Saturn's electron radiation belts, near the planet's A‐ring (∼2.27 Rs), is studied using Cassini's Proximal orbit measurements. We find that variable convective flows transport energetic electrons to the A‐ring, which absorbs them instantaneously, forming the inner belt boundary. These flows are also responsible for a variable and longitudinally asymmetric boundary configuration. Pre‐noon, the boundary oscillates towards and away from the A‐ring with a two‐week period. Post‐noon, it maps persistently near the F‐ring (∼2.32 Rs) and coexists with localized MeV electron intensity enhancements (microbelts). We propose that the microbelts contain electrons in drift resonance with corotation, trapped in local‐time confined trajectories which result from the aforementioned convective flows. The microbelts' collocation with the F‐ring implies either a local, secondary electron production due to Galactic Cosmic Ray collisions with F‐ring dust, or an enhanced resonant electron trapping due to an electrodynamic interaction between the F‐ring and Saturn's magnetosphere.