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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This is a drawing of Jupiter and its magnetosphere showing the magnetic field lines, the Io torus, and the plasmasheet (part of the plasmasphere)
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JPL

Saturn's Plasmasphere

Saturn's plasmasphere is pretty big. Most of the plasma comes from the donut-shaped cloud (torus) of material from Titan and the other icy moons.

Besides ions and electrons, the plasmasphere also contains very energetic particles, which contribute to the radiation found in this environment.

Particles enter the plasmasphere from the atmosphere as well as the magnetotail. Particles leave the plasmasphere when they drop too far along the magnetic field lines at the north and south poles. When these particles collide with the atmosphere, they create the aurora.


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