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Location of Saturn's northern infrared aurora determined from Cassini VIMS images

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • S. V. Badman
  • N. Achilleos
  • K. H. Baines
  • R. H. Brown
  • E. J. Bunce
  • M. K. Dougherty
  • H. Melin
  • J. D. Nichols
  • T. Stallard
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Journal publication date02/2011
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Journal number3
Volume38
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The location of Saturn's northern infrared aurora is described in detail using 12 selected images acquired by Cassini VIMS during 2006–2008. Bright main oval arcs and prevalent polar features are displayed, which do not exhibit a preferred local time or spatial extent. The average equatorward limit of the aurora was determined using a best fit circle method. The average circle has a radius of 16.4 ± 0.2° latitude, centred 1.6° anti-sunward of Saturn's pole. The low standard deviation of the fitted circle radii (<1°) indicates the relative stability of the equatorward auroral boundary. For the first time we show that the average location of the infrared oval is similar to that of the ultraviolet oval, suggesting that the auroral emissions at different wavelengths are very likely produced by a common driver despite the distinct emission mechanisms.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.