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IMAGING JUPITER AURORAE FROM H-3+ EMISSIONS IN THE 3-4 MU-M BAND

BARON, R; JOSEPH, RD; OWEN, T; TENNYSON, J; MILLER, S; BALLESTER, GE; (1991) IMAGING JUPITER AURORAE FROM H-3+ EMISSIONS IN THE 3-4 MU-M BAND. NATURE , 353 (6344) 539 - 542.

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Abstract

SINCE H-3+ was first spectroscopically detected on Jupiter 1,2, there has been considerable interest in using this simple molecular ion to probe conditions existing in the planet's auroral regions. Here we present a series of images of Jupiter recorded at wavelengths sensitive to emission by H-3+, which reveal the spatial distribution of excited H-3+ molecular ions in the jovian ionosphere, as seen from Earth. We believe that they provide high-spatial-resolution images of polar aurorae on Jupiter. They suggest that the intensity of the auroral emission can vary on a timescale of an hour, a shorter period than had previously been noted. We also find that the spatial distribution of H-3+ emissions correlates only partially with the loci of auroral activity inferred from ultraviolet and longer-wavelength infrared observations. The H-3+ emission may therefore be controlled by auroral processes that are different from those responsible for the ultraviolet and infrared emissions.

Type:Article
Title:IMAGING JUPITER AURORAE FROM H-3+ EMISSIONS IN THE 3-4 MU-M BAND
Keywords:SOUTH POLAR AURORAE, FUNDAMENTAL-BAND, IUE DATA, NORTH, SPECTROMETRY, VOYAGER
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy

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