Europlanet Science Congress 2020
Virtual meeting
21 September – 9 October 2020
Europlanet Science Congress 2020
Virtual meeting
21 September – 9 October 2020
EPSC Abstracts
Vol.14, EPSC2020-79, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2020-79
Europlanet Science Congress 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The external and internal magnetic fields of Titan: Cassini observations

Hanying Wei, Christopher Russell, Yingjuan Ma, and Michele Dougherty
Hanying Wei et al.
  • Dept of Earth and Space Science, Univ of California Los Angeles, Earth and Space Science, UCLA, Los Angeles, United States of America (hwei@igpp.ucla.edu)

Titan has a thick atmosphere, the top of which is ionized and interacts with its plasma environment, i.e. usually the Saturnian magnetospheric plasma, but occasionally the magnetosheath or even the solar wind plasma. When the upstream plasma flow encounters Titan, the plasma slows down and diverts around Titan, and the magnetic field slowly diffuses into Titan’s ionosphere and induces currents in the ionosphere. The resulting magnetic field pattern is that, in the upstream of Titan, field lines drape around it, and in the downstream, the field lines stretch tail-like. Gradually these external fields penetrate into the lower atmosphere and the interior of Titan, and induce currents in any conductive layer if a conductive layer does indeed exist in Titan’s interior. This internally induced current acts to exclude the penetrated field. Both the internally induced field and the externally induced ionospheric field have strength and orientation variable with certain time scales because they are responses to the penetrated external field. The Cassini observations are a sum of fields from both internal and external sources. In this paper, we review the low altitude observations from all Cassini Titan flybys and examine the different behaviors of the external and internal fields, which ultimately provide an upper limit to Titan’s internal field leading to indications for Titan’s interior.

How to cite: Wei, H., Russell, C., Ma, Y., and Dougherty, M.: The external and internal magnetic fields of Titan: Cassini observations, Europlanet Science Congress 2020, online, 21 September–9 Oct 2020, EPSC2020-79, https://doi.org/10.5194/epsc2020-79, 2020