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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: ZhongHua Yao, 2017: Observations of loading-unloading process at Saturn’s distant magnetotail, Earth and Planetary Physics, 1, 53-57. doi: 10.26464/epp2017007

2017, 1(1): 53-57. doi: 10.26464/epp2017007

Observations of loading-unloading process at Saturn’s distant magnetotail

Laboratoire de Physique Atmosphérique et Planétaire, STAR institute, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium

Corresponding author: ZhongHua Yao,

Received Date: 2017-07-31
Web Publishing Date: 2017-01-01

Using in-situ measurements from the Cassini spacecraft in 2013, we report an Earth substorm-like loading-unloading process at Saturn’s distant magnetotail. We found that the loading process is featured with two distinct processes: a rapid loading process that was likely driven by an internal source and a slow loading process that was likely driven by solar wind. Each of the two loading processes could also individually lead to an unloading process. The rapid internal loading process lasts for ~ 1-2 hours; the solar wind driven loading process lasts for ~ 3-18 hours and the following unloading process lasts for ~1-3 hours. In this letter, we suggest three possible loading-unloading circulations, which are fundamental in understanding the role of solar wind in driving giant planetary magnetospheric dynamics.

Key words: saturn magnetosphere, loading-unloading process, magnetic reconnection, dipolarization

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Observations of loading-unloading process at Saturn’s distant magnetotail

ZhongHua Yao