Simultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H2 and H3+ at a high spatial resolution

H. Melin, T. Stallard, S. Miller, J. Gustin, M. Galand, S. V. Badman, W. R. Pryor, J. O'Donoghue, R. H. Brown, K. H. Baines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

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 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15203
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume38
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Simultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H<sub>2</sub> and H<sub>3</sub><sup>+</sup> at a high spatial resolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Melin, H., Stallard, T., Miller, S., Gustin, J., Galand, M., Badman, S. V., Pryor, W. R., O'Donoghue, J., Brown, R. H., & Baines, K. H. (2011). Simultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H2 and H3+ at a high spatial resolution. Geophysical Research Letters, 38(15), [L15203]. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL048457