Modification of the plasma in the near-vicinity of Enceladus by the enveloping dust



[1] The plasma near Saturn's equator is quasi-corotating, but those fluid elements entering the near-vicinity of the moon Enceladus become uniquely modified. Besides the solid body, the Moon has a surrounding dust envelop that we show herein to be detected ∼20 Enceladus radii (1 RE = 252 km) both north and south of the body. Previous reports indicate that corotating plasma slows down substantially in the near-vicinity of Enceladus. We show herein that the commencement of this plasma slow down matches closely with Cassini's entry into the dense portions of the enveloping dust in the northern hemisphere above the Moon. We also examine in detail the source of the dust about 400 km above the south polar fissures. We find that a large positive potential must exist between the south pole of the moon and the spacecraft to account for ions streaming away from the pole on connecting magnetic field lines.