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Title: Saturn's equinoctial auroras
Authors: Nichols, Jonathan D.
Badman, S.V.
Bunce, E.J.
Clarke, J.T.
Cowley, S.W.H.
Crary, F.J.
Dougherty, M.K.
Gérard, J.-C.
Grodent, D.
Hansen, K.C.
Kurth, W.S.
Mitchell, D.G.
Pryor, W.R.
Stallard, T.S.
Talboys, D.L.
Wannawichian, S.
First Published: 23-Dec-2009
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Citation: Geophysical Research Letters, 2009, 36, L24102 (5)
Abstract: We present the first images of Saturn's conjugate equinoctial auroras, obtained in early 2009 using the Hubble Space Telescope. We show that the radius of the northern auroral oval is similar to 1.5 degrees smaller than the southern, indicating that Saturn's polar ionospheric magnetic field, measured for the first time in the ionosphere, is similar to 17% larger in the north than the south. Despite this, the total emitted UV power is on average similar to 17% larger in the north than the south, suggesting that field-aligned currents (FACs) are responsible for the emission. Finally, we show that individual auroral features can exhibit distinct hemispheric asymmetries. These observations will provide important context for Cassini observations as Saturn moves from southern to northern summer.
DOI Link: 10.1029/2009GL041491
ISSN: 0094-8276
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2009 by the American Geophysical Union. Deposited with reference to the publisher's archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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