Triton

Topside ionosphere and nitrogen escape

Y. L. Yung, James Lyons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The principal ion in the ionosphere of Triton is N+. Energetic electrons of magnetospheric origin are the primary source of ionization, with a smaller contribution due to photoionization. To explain the topside plasma scale height, we postulate that N+ ions escape from Triton. The loss rate is 3.4 × 107 cm−2 s−1 or 7.9 × 1024 ions s−1. Dissociative recombination of N+ 2 produces neutral exothermic fragments that can escape from Triton. The rate is estimated to be 8.6 × 106 N cm−2 s−1 or 2.0 × 1024 atoms s−1. Implications for the magnetosphere of Neptune and Triton's evolution are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1717-1720
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

ionospheres
escape
ionosphere
nitrogen
ion
ions
Neptune (planet)
scale height
Neptune
axioms
magnetospheres
recombination
magnetosphere
photoionization
ionization
energetics
fragments
plasma
electron
atoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Triton : Topside ionosphere and nitrogen escape. / Yung, Y. L.; Lyons, James.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 17, No. 10, 01.01.1990, p. 1717-1720.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yung, Y. L. ; Lyons, James. / Triton : Topside ionosphere and nitrogen escape. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 1990 ; Vol. 17, No. 10. pp. 1717-1720.
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