Acceleration of electrons by whistler-mode hiss waves at Saturn

Plasmaspheric hiss waves at the Earth are well known for causing losses of electrons from the radiation belts through wave particle interactions. At Saturn, however, we show that the different plasma density environment leads to acceleration of the electrons rather than loss. The ratio of plasma frequency to electron gyrofrequency frequently falls below one creating conditions for hiss to accelerate electrons. The location of hiss at high latitudes ( > 25°) coincides very well with this region of very low density. The interaction between electrons and hiss only occurs at these higher latitudes, therefore the acceleration is limited to mid to low pitch angles leading to butterfly pitch angle distributions. The hiss is typically an order of magnitude stronger than chorus at Saturn and the resulting acceleration is rapid, approaching steady state in one day at 0.4 MeV at L=7 and the effect is stronger with increasing L-shell.


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Authors: Woodfield, E.E. ORCIDORCID record for E.E. Woodfield, Glauert, S.A. ORCIDORCID record for S.A. Glauert, Menietti, J.D., Horne, R.B. ORCIDORCID record for R.B. Horne, Kavanagh, A.J. ORCIDORCID record for A.J. Kavanagh, Shprits, Y.Y.

On this site: Andrew Kavanagh, Emma Woodfield, Richard Horne, Sarah Glauert
1 February, 2022
Geophysical Research Letters / 49
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