Saturn’s Van Plasma belt and braces

Saturn's near light speed electrons, in its version of our Van Allen belts, might be due to acceleration by natural plasma particle accelerators?

It has always been assumed that around Saturn, electrons are accelerated to extremely high energies by a process called radial diffusion, where electrons are repeatedly nudged towards the planet, increasing their energy. An alternative way of accelerating electrons is their interaction with plasma waves as happens around the Earth and Jupiter with Chorus waves. Around Saturn, Chorus waves have been dismissed as ineffective; however, the authors discovered that in Saturn's unique environment, it is another form of plasma wave called the Z-mode wave that is critical...

The team concludes that electron acceleration by Z-mode waves is more rapid at energising electrons in Saturn's radiation belt than radial diffusion and both mechanisms will work together to maintain the radiation belt at Saturn...

Some people think that planets are just cold chunks of rock travelling through empty space, but the way each planet interacts with the particles in space is complex, unique and exquisite, and studying them can tell us about our own planet and the rare extreme events that occasionally do occur.
A new way to create Saturn's radiation belts |

Z mode wave plasmas

Z-mode wave shapes might be the answer or not. But belts, torus of plasmas, braces of filaments, electrons, protons, dust, particles, elements being accelerated up to large percentages of the speed or energy of light by the electromagnetic forces that can effect space plasma, is vectoring in the right direction. A magnetic universe implies also electric?

At Saturn electrons are trapped in the planet’s magnetic field and accelerated to relativistic energies to form the radiation belts, but how this dramatic increase in electron energy occurs is still unknown. Until now the mechanism of radial diffusion has been assumed but we show here that in-situ acceleration through wave particle interactions, which initial studies dismissed as ineffectual at Saturn, is in fact a vital part of the energetic particle dynamics there.

We present evidence from numerical simulations based on Cassini spacecraft data that a particular plasma wave, known as Z-mode, accelerates electrons to MeV energies inside 4 RS (1 RS = 60,330 km) through a Doppler shifted cyclotron resonant interaction. Our results show that the Z-mode waves observed are not oblique as previously assumed and are much better accelerators than O-mode waves, resulting in an electron energy spectrum that closely approaches observed values without any transport effects included.
Formation of electron radiation belts at Saturn by Z-mode wave acceleration

Z-mode waves plasma

How many more dusty plasma structures seen in galaxies and the universe are being powered by electrical potential differences and other electromagnetic energies?

Saturn’s magnetosphere is dominated by the presence of the Enceladus torus, a region of water group particles emanating from the moon Enceladus just inside 4 RS. The plasma density drops off very rapidly with latitude and also decreases notably away from the plasma source of Enceladus. Z-mode waves are frequently observed inside 4 RS where the combination of low plasma density and higher magnetic field strength resulting from proximity to the planet allows an abundance of Z-mode waves to propagate
Formation of electron radiation belts at Saturn by Z-mode wave acceleration

plasma filaments cosmology

Z-mode plasma waves

Z-mode waves – a type of plasma wave present in a magnetised plasma, so-called because of the shape seen in observations of this wave from instruments on the ground at Earth – a Z shape.
A new way to create Saturn's radiation belts |

Saturn Birkeland filaments plasma currents

Our results show that Z-mode waves play a major role in the formation of Saturn’s radiation belts inside the orbit of Enceladus. We suggest the localized nature of this acceleration could explain the observed asymmetries in the high-energy electron population in this region24 as asymmetries in Z-mode wave intensity are also observed14. Our results suggest that Z-mode waves may also play an important role in radiation belt dynamics at Jupiter, particularly inside the orbit of Io where the plasma density is low, and also at the other magnetized planets of the solar system.
Formation of electron radiation belts at Saturn by Z-mode wave acceleration

plasmas filaments

Narrowband Z‐mode emissions interior to Saturn's plasma torus (pdf) | Nature Communications