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Pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons at Saturn

Pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons at Saturn,10.1029/2010JA015987,Journal of Geophysical Research,J. F. Carbary,D. G. Mitchell,C. Parani

Pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons at Saturn   (Citations: 2)
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Pitch angle distributions of energetic electrons (110–365 keV) at Saturn are statistically analyzed for 2005–2009. Using a nondipolar model magnetic field, pitch angle distributions are mapped to the magnetospheric equator and sorted by equatorial crossing distance. The results are quantified using a standard function for the pitch angle distribution, f(α) = AsinKα (where α is the pitch angle and K is the power). Inside of ∼10 RS, the distributions are mostly peaked at 90° (K 0) with maxima near 0° and 180°. The 10 RS boundary maps to Saturn's ionosphere at latitudes equatorward of the aurora. Very few “flat” distributions are observed (K ≈ 0). The pitch angle distributions are not as well organized in local time as they are in radial distance, but over the 5 year survey between 10 and 20 RS field-aligned distributions appear most often near midnight, while trapping distributions are found elsewhere.
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research , vol. 116, no. A1, 2011
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    • ...Saturn are usually not isotropic [Carbary et al., 2011; Roussos et al., 2011]...

    P. Kollmannet al. Energetic particle phase space densities at Saturn: Cassini observatio...

    • ...Also significant, the pitch angle distributions tend to be field aligned outside ∼10 RS and more isotropic or pancake inside, which has also been documented [Schippers et al., 2008; Carbary et al., 2011]...
    • ...The field‐aligned distributions were interpreted as consistent with a low‐altitude polar source for the energetic electrons [Carbary et al., 2011]...
    • ...Electron pitch angle distributions beyond ∼10 RS are bidirectional but become “pancake” with a peak near 90° in the inner magnetosphere [e.g., Saur et al., 2006; Schippers et al., 2008; Carbary et al., 2011]...
    • ...Such a process conserves the first two adiabatic invariants and agrees with previous analyses [Carbary et al., 2011]...

    J. F. Carbaryet al. Energetic electron spectra in Saturn's plasma sheet

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