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Title: Statistical Planetary Period Oscillation Signatures in Saturn's UV Auroral Intensity
Authors: Bader, A
Badman, SV
Kinrade, J
Cowley, SWH
Provan, G
Pryor, WR
First Published: 3-Oct-2018
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU), Wiley
Citation: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2018, 123(10) pp. 8459-8472
Abstract: Saturn's auroral emissions are a good measure of field-aligned current (FAC) systems in the planet's magnetospheric environment. Previous studies based on magnetic field data have identified current systems rotating with the planetary period oscillations (PPOs) in both hemispheres, superimposed onto the local time-invariant current system producing the main auroral emission. In this study we analyze the statistical behavior of Saturn's ultraviolet auroral emissions over the full Cassini mission using all suitable Cassini-UVIS images acquired between 2007 and 2017. We examine auroral intensities by organizing the data by the two PPO coordinate systems. Strong statistical intensifications are observed close to the expected locations of upward FACs in both hemispheres, clearly supporting the main assumptions of the present theoretical model. We furthermore find clear signatures of modulation due to interhemispheric current closure from the PPO system in the opposite hemisphere, although with a weaker modulation amplitude. The auroral intensity in the northern hemisphere is shown to be modulated by a superposition of the FACs associated with both PPO systems, as the modulation phase and amplitude varies as expected for different relative orientations (beat phases) of the two PPO systems.
DOI Link: 10.1029/2018JA025855
ISSN: 2169-9380
eISSN: 2169-9402
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2018. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: UVIS data are available from the NASA Planetary Data System ( All PPO phase data (2004–2017) are available on the University of Leicester Research Archive (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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