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Ion trapping by dust grains: Simulation applications to the Enceladus plume
NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Solar Syst Explorat Div, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Univ Iowa, Dept Phys & Astron, Iowa City, IA 52242 USA..
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, ISSN 2169-9097, E-ISSN 2169-9100, Vol. 122, no 4, 729-743 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a particle-in-cell electrostatic simulation, we examine the conditions that allow low-energy ions, like those produced in the Enceladus plume, to be attracted and trapped within the sheaths of negatively charged dust grains. The conventional wisdom is that all new ions produced in the Enceladus plume are free to get picked up (i.e., accelerated by the local E field to then undergo vB acceleration). However, we suggest herein that the presence of submicron-charged dust in the plume impedes this pickup process since the local grain electric field greatly exceeds the corotation E fields. The simulations demonstrate that cold ions will tend to accelerate toward the negatively charged grains and become part of the ion plasma sheath. These trapped ions will move with the grains, exiting the plume region at the dust speed. We suggest that Cassini's Langmuir probe is measuring the entire ion population (free and trapped ions), while the Cassini magnetometer detects the magnetic perturbations associated with pickup currents from the smaller population of free ions, with this distinction possibly reconciling the ongoing debate in the literature on the ion density in the plume.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION , 2017. Vol. 122, no 4, 729-743 p.
Keyword [en]
Cassini, Saturn, Enceladus, plume
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324347DOI: 10.1002/2016JE005235ISI: 000401169800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324347DiVA: diva2:1110232
Available from: 2017-06-15 Created: 2017-06-15 Last updated: 2017-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Wahlund, Jan-ErikMorooka, Michiko
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala DivisionDepartment of Physics and Astronomy
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