Plasma Waves Near Saturn: Initial Results from Voyager 1

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 Apr 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4491, pp. 235-239
DOI: 10.1126/science.212.4491.235


The Voyager 1 plasma wave instrument detected many familiar types of plasma waves during the encounter with Saturn, including ion-acoustic waves and electron plasma oscillations upstream of the bow shock, an intense burst of electrostatic noise at the shock, and chorus, hiss, electrostatic electron cyclotron waves, and upper hybrid resonance emissions in the inner magnetosphere. A clocklike Saturn rotational control of low-frequency radio emissions was observed, and evidence was obtained of possible control by the moon Dione. Strong plasma wave emissions were detected at the Titan encounter indicating the presence of a turbulent sheath extending around Titan, and upper hybrid resonance measurements of the electron density show the existence of a dense plume of plasma being carried downstream of Titan by the interaction with the rapidly rotating magnetosphere of Saturn.