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 H2 emissions from UVIS are compared to infrared H3+ emission from VIMS. The auroral emission is structured into three arcs-H, H2 and H3+ are morphologically identical in the bright main auroral oval (∼73°S), but there is an equatorward arc that is seen predominantly in H (∼70°S), and a poleward arc (∼74°S) that is seen mainly in H2 and H 3+. These observations indicate that, for the main auroral oval, UV emission is a good proxy for the infrared H3+ 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)