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Auroral signatures of multiple magnetopause reconnection at Saturn

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • A. Radioti
  • D. Grodent
  • J. -C. Gerard
  • B. Bonfond
  • J. Gustin
  • W. Pryor
  • J. M. Jasinski
  • C. S. Arridge
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/09/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Geophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)4498-4502
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Auroral observations capture the ionospheric response to dynamics of the whole magnetosphere and may provide evidence of the significance of reconnection at Saturn. Bifurcations of the main dayside auroral emission have been related to reconnection at the magnetopause and their surface is suggested to represent the amount of newly opened flux. This work is the first presentation of multiple brightenings of these auroral features based on Cassini ultraviolet auroral observations. In analogy to the terrestrial case, we propose a process, in which a magnetic flux tube reconnects with other flux tubes at multiple sites. This scenario predicts the observed multiple brightenings, it is consistent with subcorotating auroral features which separate from the main emission, and it suggests north-south auroral asymmetries. We demonstrate that the conditions for multiple magnetopause reconnection can be satisfied at Saturn, like at Earth.

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©2013. American Geophysical Union