loading page

Conductivities of Titan's dusty ionosphere
  • +1
  • Oleg Shebanits,
  • Jan-Erik Wahlund,
  • Jack Hunter Waite,
  • Michele K. Dougherty
Oleg Shebanits
Swedish Institute for Space Physics (IRF)

Corresponding Author:oleg.shebanits@irfu.se

Author Profile
Jan-Erik Wahlund
Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
Author Profile
Jack Hunter Waite
Southwest Research Institute
Author Profile
Michele K. Dougherty
Imperial College
Author Profile


Titan’s ionosphere hosts a globally distributed non-trivial dusty ion-ion plasma, providing an environment for studies of dusty ionospheres that is in many aspects unique in our solar system. Thanks to the Cassini mission, Titan’s ionosphere also features one of the largest dusty plasma datasets from 126 flybys of the moon over 13 years, from 2004 to 2017. Recent studies have shown that negatively charged dust dramatically alters the electric properties of plasmas, in particular planetary ionospheres. Utilizing the full plasma content of the moon’s ionosphere (electrons, positive ions and negative ions/dust grains), we derive the electric conductivities and define the conductive dynamo region. Our results show that using the full plasma content increases the Pedersen conductivities at ~1300 km altitude by 20% compared to the earlier estimates without charged dust, while the Hall conductivities indicate a reverse Hall effect at ~900 km altitude (closest approach) and below. The dayside conductivities are shown to be factor ~7-9 larger than on the nightside, owing to higher dayside plasma densities.
Feb 2022Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics volume 127 issue 2. 10.1029/2021JA029910