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The cushion region and dayside magnetodisc structure at Saturn

  • Staniland, NR
  • Dougherty, MK
  • Masters, A
  • Achilleos, N
Publication Date
Dec 04, 2020
Spiral - Imperial College Digital Repository


A sustained dipolar magnetic field between the current sheet outer edge and the magnetopause, known as a cushion region, has yet to be observed at Saturn. Whilst some signatures of reconnection occurring in the dayside magnetodisc have been identified, the presence of this large-scale structure has not been seen. Using the complete Cassini magnetometer data, the first evidence of a cushion region forming at Saturn is shown. Only five potential examples of a sustained cushion are found, revealing this phenomenon to be rare. This feature more commonly occurs at dusk compared to dawn, where it is found at Jupiter. It is suggested that due to greater heating and expansion of the field through the afternoon sector the disc is more unstable in this region. We show that magnetodisc breakdown is more likely to occur within the magnetosphere of Jupiter compared to Saturn.

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