The observed disparity between the radial dependence of the ion and electron densities measured by the Cassini plasma (CAPS) and radio (RPWS) science instruments are used to show that the region between the outer edge of Saturn's main rings and its tenuous G ring is permeated with small charged grains (nanograins). These grains emanate from the edge of the A ring and from the tenuous F and G rings. This is a region of Saturn's magnetosphere that is relatively unexplored, but will be a focus of Cassini's F ring orbits prior to the end of mission in 2017 September. Confirmation of the grain densities predicted here will enhance our ability to describe the formation and destruction of material in this important region of Saturn's magnetosphere.
- planets and satellites: individual (Saturn)
- planets and satellites: rings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science