Exospheric heating by pickup ions at Titan

Wei-Ling Tseng, W. H. Ip, A. Kopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Titan has a very extensive atmosphere and exosphere which interact strongly with the corotating magnetospheric plasma. Some of the new pickup ions created in the vicinity of the exosphere will re-impact the upper atmosphere causing additional energy input. Previous investigations of the atmospheric collisional interaction of the pickup ions have generally assumed the atmosphere to be spherically symmetric. From the Voyager and Cassini observations, we know that the magnetic field configuration and plasma flow field is highly asymmetric. To study the possible spatial variation in the pickup ion influx, we have employed the plasma data of the three dimensional MHD simulation of Kopp and Ip [Kopp, A., Ip, W.-H. Asymmetric mass loading effect at Titan's ionosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 106, 8323-8332, 2001] to compute the trajectories of the pickup ions. In this work, we calculate the ion influx and energy deposit into Titan's exobase for the H 2 + , CH 4 + and N 2 + pickup ions separately. The model results of four different Titan's orbital locations are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul 1

Fingerprint

Titan
Pickups
heating
Heating
ion
sensors
Ions
exosphere
ions
plasma
Plasmas
atmospheres
Plasma flow
Upper atmosphere
magnetic field configurations
atmosphere
Ionosphere
upper atmosphere
magnetohydrodynamic flow
Magnetohydrodynamics

Keywords

  • Atmospheric sputtering
  • Exosphere
  • Exospheric heating
  • Pickup ions
  • Titan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Exospheric heating by pickup ions at Titan. / Tseng, Wei-Ling; Ip, W. H.; Kopp, A.

In: Advances in Space Research, Vol. 42, No. 1, 01.07.2008, p. 54-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tseng, Wei-Ling ; Ip, W. H. ; Kopp, A. / Exospheric heating by pickup ions at Titan. In: Advances in Space Research. 2008 ; Vol. 42, No. 1. pp. 54-60.
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