First whistler observed in the magnetosphere of Saturn



[1] This paper describes and analyzes the first whistler observed in the magnetosphere of Saturn. The whistler was detected by the Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) instrument on the Cassini spacecraft during the inbound pass on October 28, 2004, at a radial distance of 6.18 RS (Saturn radii). Based on the measured dispersion, a travel time computation shows that the whistler originated from lightning in the northern hemisphere of Saturn. Using a simple centrifugal potential model for the plasma distribution along the magnetic field line, we have determined the scale height and fractional concentrations of water group ions and protons that give the best fit to the observed dispersion. In addition, a more complex diffusive equilibrium model was also analyzed. The inferred electron density profiles for the two models are very similar. Representative scale heights and equatorial ion fractional concentrations that provided good fits to the dispersion of the whistler were found to be image = 0.89 RS and image = 0.7 for water group ions, and image = 2.67 RS and image = 0.3 for protons.