The low energy plasma in the Uranian magnetosphere

R. L. McNutt*, F. Bagenal, J. Belcher, H. Bridge, A. Eviatar, C. Goertz, A. J. Lazarus, K. Ogilvie, J. Richardson, M. Sands, R. Selesnick, G. Siscoe, E. Sittler, V. M. Vasyliunas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Plasma Science experiment on Voyager 2 detected a magnetosphere filled with a tenuous plasma, rotating with the planet. Temperatures of the plasma, composed of protons and electrons, ranged from 10 eV to ∼1 keV. The sources of these protons and electrons are probably the ionosphere of Uranus or the extended neutral hydrogen cloud surrounding the planet. As at Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, there is an extended magnetotail with a central plasma sheet. Although similar in global structure to the magnetospheres of these planets, the large angle between the rotation and magnetic axes of the planet and the orientation of the rotation axis with respect to the solar wind flow make the Uranian magnetosphere unique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-241
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1987


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