Thermal plasma composition in Saturn's magnetosphere

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A brief description is given to the composition of the thermal ions in the Saturnian magnetosphere with the neutral gas cloud as the main source. It is predicted that, if the neutral cloud density peaks near Enceladus' orbit with a total number density of the water-group neutrals reaching 104 cm-3, the molecular ions like OH+ and H2O+ could be as abundant as O+ throughout the Saturnian magnetosphere. At the same time, a significant amount of H3O+ and O+2 ions can be found in the region with L < 5. The composition of the Saturnian plasma could therefore be far more complex than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2000


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