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Dust capture by the Saturnian magnetosphere

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3 Author(s)
C. J. Mitchell ; Lab. for Atmos. & Space Phys., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA ; J. E. Colwell ; M. Horanyi

We examine the capture of interplanetary dust particles by Saturn using a simple two-dimensional code. The incoming grain's energy may be lost to the magnetosphere due to the grain's finite charging time as it passes through the magnetospheric plasma. We observe a preference for retrograde captures, with an approximately 2 : 1 ratio of retrograde to prograde captures. The computer simulations show that this asymmetry is due to the larger range of values of the Jacobi constant for retrograde orbits.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 2 )