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    Rights statement: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union. Radioti, A., Grodent, D., Yao, Z. H., Gérard, J.-C., Badman, S. V., Pryor, W., & Bonfond, B. (2017). Dawn auroral breakup at Saturn initiated by auroral arcs: UVIS/Cassini beginning of Grand Finale phase. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122, 12,111–12,119. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024653

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Dawn Auroral Breakup at Saturn Initiated by Auroral Arcs: UVIS/Cassini Beginning of Grand Finale Phase

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • A. Radioti
  • D. Grodent
  • Z. H. Yao
  • J.-c. Gérard
  • S. V. Badman
  • W. Pryor
  • B. Bonfond
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number12
Volume122
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)12111-12119
Publication statusPublished
Early online date11/12/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We present Cassini auroral observations obtained on 11 November 2016 with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph at the beginning of the F-ring orbits and the Grand Finale phase of the mission. The spacecraft made a close approach to Saturn's southern pole and offered a remarkable view of the dayside and nightside aurora. With this sequence we identify, for the first time, the presence of dusk/midnight arcs, which are azimuthally spread from high to low latitudes, suggesting that their source region extends from the outer to middle/inner magnetosphere. The observed arcs could be auroral manifestations of plasma flows propagating toward the planet from the magnetotail, similar to terrestrial “auroral streamers.” During the sequence the dawn auroral region brightens and expands poleward. We suggest that the dawn auroral breakup results from a combination of plasma instability and global-scale magnetic field reconfiguration, which is initiated by plasma flows propagating toward the planet. Alternatively, the dawn auroral enhancement could be triggered by tail magnetic reconnection.

Bibliographic note

An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union. Radioti, A., Grodent, D., Yao, Z. H., Gérard, J.-C., Badman, S. V., Pryor, W., & Bonfond, B. (2017). Dawn auroral breakup at Saturn initiated by auroral arcs: UVIS/Cassini beginning of Grand Finale phase. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122, 12,111–12,119. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024653