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Simultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H-2 and H-3(+) at a high spatial resolution

Melin, H; Stallard, T; Miller, S; Gustin, J; Galand, M; Badman, SV; Pryor, WR; (2011) Simultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H-2 and H-3(+) at a high spatial resolution. Geophysical Research Letters , 38 , Article L15203. 10.1029/2011GL048457. Green open access

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Abstract

Here, for the first time, temporally coincident and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. Ultraviolet auroral H and H-2 emissions from UVIS are compared to infrared H-3(+) emission from VIMS. The auroral emission is structured into three arcs - H, H-2 and H-3(+) are morphologically identical in the bright main auroral oval (similar to 73 degrees S), but there is an equatorward arc that is seen predominantly in H (similar to 70 degrees S), and a poleward arc (similar to 74 degrees S) that is seen mainly in H-2 and H-3(+). These observations indicate that, for the main auroral oval, UV emission is a good proxy for the infrared H-3(+) morphology (and vice versa), but for emission either poleward or equatorward this is no longer true. Hence, simultaneous UV/IR observations are crucial for completing the picture of how the atmosphere interacts with the magnetosphere.

Type: Article
Title: Simultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H-2 and H-3(+) at a high spatial resolution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2011GL048457
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL048457
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords: Atmosphere, Electrons, Location, Molecule, Jupiter, Ions
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Science and Technology Studies
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1321977
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