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Book Chapter

Enceladus and Its Influence on Saturn's Magnetosphere


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

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Smith, H. T., Crary, F. J., Dougherty, M. K., Perry, M. E., Roussos, E., Simon, S., et al. (2018). Enceladus and Its Influence on Saturn's Magnetosphere. In P. M. Schenk, C. J. A. Howett, A. J. Verbiscer, J. H. Waite, & R. Dotson (Eds.), Enceladus and the Icy Moons of Saturn (pp. 211-234). Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-ECD0-5
The discovery and study of active water plumes emanating from the southern pole of the Enceladus has provided key information for understanding particle sources and dynamics in Saturn's magnetosphere. Prior to 2004, knowledge of the saturnian system was limited to Earth-based observations and only three in situ flybys. The subsequent arrival of the Cassini spacecraft rapidly changed what we know about the influence of this moon on the saturnian system, causing dramatic revisions to our understanding of the physical processes occurring in Saturn's magnetosphere. The very dense, relatively unprotected atmosphere of the large moon Titan, which was once believed to be a dominant source of plasma, has taken a back seat to its much smaller cousin, Enceladus. This relatively small moon serves as the primary source of particles in the magnetosphere and thus has a significant impact on both the near-Enceladus environment as well as the entire magnetosphere. Here we present an overview of the current understanding of these impacts.