Cassini Measurements of Cold Plasma in the Ionosphere of Titan

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Science  13 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5724, pp. 986-989
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109807

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The Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) Langmuir probe (LP) sensor observed the cold plasma environment around Titan during the first two flybys. The data show that conditions in Saturn's magnetosphere affect the structure and dynamics deep in the ionosphere of Titan. The maximum measured ionospheric electron number density reached 3800 per cubic centimeter near closest approach, and a complex chemistry was indicated. The electron temperature profiles are consistent with electron heat conduction from the hotter Titan wake. The ionospheric escape flux was estimated to be 1025 ions per second.

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