Probing IMF using nanodust measurements from inside Saturn's magnetosphere

Authors


Corresponding author: H.-W. Hsu, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder 3665 Discovery Drive Boulder, Colorado 80303, CO, USA. (sean.hsu@lasp.colorado.edu)

Abstract

[1] We present a new concept of monitoring the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) by using in situ measurements of nanodust stream particles in Saturn's magnetosphere. We show that the nanodust detection pattern obtained inside the magnetosphere resembles those observed in interplanetary space and is associated with the solar wind compression regions. Our dust dynamics model reproduces the observed nanodust dynamical properties as well as the detection pattern, suggesting that the ejected stream particles can reenter Saturn's magnetosphere at certain occasions due to the dynamical influence from the time-varying IMF. This method provides information on the IMF direction and a rough estimation on the solar wind compression arrival time at Saturn. Such information can be useful for studies related to the solar wind-magnetosphere interactions, especially when the solar wind parameters are not directly available.

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