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Galactic Cosmic Rays Access to the Magnetosphere of Saturn

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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

Kotova, A., Roussos, E., Kollmann, P., Krupp, N., & Dandouras, I. (2019). Galactic Cosmic Rays Access to the Magnetosphere of Saturn. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 124(1), 166-177. doi:10.1029/2018JA025661.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7DD1-5
Abstract
The megaelectron volt proton radiation belts of Saturn are isolated from the middle and outer magnetosphere, and the source of these high‐energy protons is thought to be linked to the access of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) in the system. To validate this hypothesis, it is first of all necessary to determine the realistic spectrum of GCRs at Saturn. Previously, only analytical attempts were performed in order to calculate the GCR spectra. In this letter we provide for the first time the numerical solution for the determination of the GCR access to the upper atmosphere and rings of Saturn. The proposed method is based on the charged particle tracing technique. As a result the GCRs access energies to the atmosphere and to the equatorial plane of the magnetosphere as a function of radial distance to the planet were obtained and the GCRs spectra were reconstructed. Dependencies of the spectral parameters such as the time or the incidence direction were also obtained offering all necessary information for simulating the interaction of GCRs with the Saturnian system during different phases of the Cassini mission.