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See detailAuroral evidence of Io's control over the magnetosphere of Jupiter
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2012), 39

Contrary to the case of the Earth, the main auroral oval on Jupiter is related to the breakdown of plasma corotation in the middle magnetosphere. Even if the root causes for the main auroral emissions are ... [more ▼]

Contrary to the case of the Earth, the main auroral oval on Jupiter is related to the breakdown of plasma corotation in the middle magnetosphere. Even if the root causes for the main auroral emissions are Io's volcanism and Jupiter's fast rotation, changes in the aurora could be attributed either to these internal factors or to fluctuations of the solar wind. Here we show multiple lines of evidence from the aurora for a major internally-controlled magnetospheric reconfiguration that took place in Spring 2007. Hubble Space Telescope far-UV images show that the main oval continuously expanded over a few months, engulfing the Ganymede footprint on its way. Simultaneously, there was an increased occurrence rate of large equatorward isolated auroral features attributed to injection of depleted flux tubes. Furthermore, the unique disappearance of the Io footprint on 6 June appears to be related to the exceptional equatorward migration of such a feature. The contemporary observation of the spectacular Tvashtar volcanic plume by the New-Horizons probe as well as direct measurement of increased Io plasma torus emissions suggest that these dramatic changes were triggered by Io's volcanic activity. [less ▲]

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See detailTitan airglow: FUV and EUV 2009 UVIS spectra of airglow during day, night and eclipse
Ajello, J.M.; Stevens, M.; West, R. et al

Conference (2012, January)

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See detailJupiter system Ultraviolet Dynamics Explorer (JUDE), an instrument proposed for the ESA-JUICE mission
Grodent, Denis ULg; Bunce, Emma J.; Renotte, Etienne ULg et al

Report (2012)

In the proposal that follows we present a detailed concept for the science case, instrument requirements, technical design, calibration and operations, management structure, and financial plan for the ... [more ▼]

In the proposal that follows we present a detailed concept for the science case, instrument requirements, technical design, calibration and operations, management structure, and financial plan for the Jupiter system Ultraviolet Dynamics Experiment (JUDE), which will provide an outstanding solution to the UV instrumentation requirements for the JUICE mission. The JUDE instrument will represent a novel technical capability in UV instrumentation for planetary science, and will deliver the first true UV imaging capability beyond Earth orbit. The JUDE instrument design consists of two separate channels – the imaging channel (ImaC) and the spectrograph channel (SpeC), neither of which has any moving parts. This simple combination of two autonomous channels allows a true image and a spectrum at FUV wavelengths to be obtained simultaneously, allowing science goals to be realised which are not possible with a traditional scanning-slit imaging-spectrograph design The international consortium assembled to build the JUDE instrument is formed of two institutes from two European countries, and one from the United States. Prof. Denis Grodent (Université de Liège, Belgium) will act as the PI for the entire instrument team and the ULg/CSL team will provide a substantial hardware contribution to the instrument in the form of the optics, coatings, and Data Processing Unit (DPU). Dr Emma Bunce (University of Leicester, UK) will act as Co-PI for the instrument and the UoL team will supply the Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) detectors and read-out electronics. Prof. John Clarke (Co-I) of Boston University, USA will provide the grating element for the spectral channel of the instrument, in addition to instrument calibration activities. The science Co-Is are gathered from multiple institutes/nations including Belgium, UK, Germany, Italy, and the United States (see Part 1 for the full team list). Collectively, the team have decades of expertise in the areas of outer planet magnetospheres, planetary auroral and atmospheric emissions and surface UV observations from multiple platforms including Cassini UVIS, Juno UVS, Hubble Space Telescope, and numerous terrestrial missions. The team also have roles on non-UV instruments which will maximise the interpretation of the JUDE data. The two instrument channels are built on proven and robust technology with much flight heritage (e.g. Juno, Cassini, BepiColombo, IMAGE, ROSAT, Chandra, Voyager, Freja, DE-1, Swift). More specifically, the optics and focal plane detector proposed for the JUDE instrument are widely based on previous designs by CSL, at the ULg and UoL, for the FUV Spectro-Imager on the NASA IMAGE spacecraft, the UV Spectrograph on the NASA Juno mission to Jupiter, and the ROSAT Wide Field Camera. The data return from the instrument will greatly benefit the European and international science communities in planetary and terrestrial sciences, and the knowledge obtained will be generally applicable to broader astrophysics disciplines (e.g. extrasolar planetary physics). In answering the UV science objectives for the JUICE mission the JUDE instrument will clearly address the ESA Cosmic Vision Themes 1: What are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life? and 2: How does the Solar System work? The JUDE images (in particular) provide a clear path towards a high-level related programme of education and public outreach which the JUDE team are well equipped and keen to exploit. The JUDE instrument will contribute to all of the UV-related science objectives of JUICE, plus additional science objectives not listed in the Science Requirements Matrix. - At Ganymede and other moons (Europa and Callisto) JUDE will contribute directly to breakthroughs in the following scientific areas: 1) the characterisation of local environment, specifically through the first investigation of the morphology and variation of Ganymede’s aurora. A clear understanding of the auroral and atmospheric emissions at Ganymede will provide vital information on their formation mechanisms and will contribute to studies of the interaction of the Ganymede magnetosphere with Jupiter’s magnetosphere; 2) the first detailed observations of the satellites’ atmospheric (exosphere/ionosphere) composition and structure through measurements of their atmospheric emission and absorption spectra during multiple stellar occultation opportunities; and 3) the study of the satellites surface composition using surface reflectance measurements. The measurements at UV wavelengths are essential because they allow the study of the relationship between the satellites’ surface weathering, their atmospheres and the external environment which is mainly affected by the surrounding Jovian magnetosphere. By carefully studying processes at the surface and in the satellites’ atmospheres together, JUDE will provide the information required to distinguish between two classes of compositional heterogeneities at the satellites’ surfaces: 1) heterogeneities that arise from interaction with the external environment; 2) heterogeneities that arise from dynamical interaction with the subsurface. - With respect to Jupiter, JUDE will: 1) provide “state of the art” measurements of the Jovian atmospheric dynamics and transport through high temporal and spatial resolution auroral imaging; 2) allow a new understanding of the Jovian magnetosphere as a fast rotator through interpretation of the Jovian aurora as direct evidence for the 3D magnetosphere dynamics – a view which is continuously available in the planet’s upper atmosphere (independent of the spacecraft location within the magnetosphere); 3) investigate the magnetosphere as a giant accelerator through observations of the field-aligned current systems responsible for acceleration of electrons (and production of aurora); 4) discover the plasma sources and sinks of the moons through auroral imaging of the moon footprints in Jupiter’s atmosphere as a witness of the electromagnetic interactions taking place; 5) obtain new information on Jupiter’s atmospheric structure and composition through multiple stellar occultation opportunities. In addition, JUDE will make remote observations of the Io torus emissions and will provide the first in situ observation of the variability of the torus, over the lifetime of the mission, providing important information about the internal activity of the moon. JUDE offers a unique opportunity to obtain the first concurrent datasets of the different coupled elements of the Jupiter system: Io's atmosphere, aurora, the plasma torus, the Jovian plasma sheet and the Jovian aurora. The JUDE imaging and spectral channels are both designed to capture FUV lines from sulphur ions in the Io plasma torus. Finally, JUDE’s remote sensing capability offers an exciting opportunity to discover the Europa “plume” activity that may be present, through limb observations during flybys and from more distant observing locations. The Ganymede-focused and moon related science objectives will be addressed in the Ganymede orbit phase and during the multiple moon flybys, whilst the Jupiter science will be predominantly achieved during the Jupiter Equatorial Phases and during the high-inclination phase. The JUDE UV imager and spectrograph will produce discovery level science at Ganymede and the first true 2D UV images from Jupiter orbit. The exceptional JUICE trajectory affords many opportunities for breakthrough science discoveries in accordance with the SciRD; in addition to those, it provides unprecedented opportunities to directly witness the electromagnetic connection between Ganymede and Jupiter by making the first simultaneous UV observations of the respective atmospheres within the JUDE field-of-view. This is possible as a direct consequence of the JUDE true imaging capability. To successfully meet the science requirements outlined above, the JUDE ImaC has a spatial resolution of 20 arcsec over a circular field-of-view with 6˚ diameter, which allows a 100 km spatial resolution on Jupiter from Ganymede orbital distances (and 20 m resolution on Ganymede from 200 km, for example). JUDE’s ImaC mirrors and detector window will be covered with multilayer coatings which efficiently select a narrow bandpass from 130 to 143 nm, to allow measurements of the faint Oxygen lines at 130.4 nm and 135.6 nm in Ganymede’s (and other moon’s) atmosphere. This bandpass also allows observations of the SIV lines (between 140.5 and 142.4 nm) emitted within the Io plasma torus and in Io’s atmosphere. The bright Jovian emissions will also be suppressed within this bandpass which will necessarily limit the count rate to an acceptable level. The Ly-α line at 122 nm will be largely excluded as will the reflected sunlight longward of 150 nm. The sensitivity of the ImaC is 50 Rayleigh (at 3-sigma). The SpeC has a spectral resolution of 0.5 nm in order to meet the requirements of the SciRD, and has a field-of-view which is a 6˚ x 0.1˚ slit co-aligned with, and centred on, the ImaC circular field-of-view. The lower wavelength of the SpeC bandpass is set to ~110 nm in order to include the bright Ly-α line (useful to study the H corona) in a region of reduced transmission. The upper wavelength limit, ~195 nm, is such that transmission is slowly decreasing in the 180-195 nm spectral region, allowing measurements of the moon’s albedos beyond 165 nm, as well as the detection of compounds such as CO2, SO2, O2, O3, H2CO3 and H2O2 by comparing JUDE reflectance spectra to those obtained in laboratory studies. FUV emission lines from S and O are also observable within the bandpass and B-type stars emitting within this waveband will allow occultation experiments to be performed, to determine the composition and structure of the moon’s atmospheres and the detection of a possible Europa plume. The same is true for the Jovian atmosphere for which attenuation by H2 and hydrocarbons allows determination of the atmospheric structure. The sensitivity of the SpeC is 10 R/nm (at 3-sigma). The JUDE instrument channels: ImaC and the co-aligned SpeC, are both operating within the 110–195 nm range. Each channel has independent optics and detector elements, providing a level of redundancy such that loss of either imager or spectrograph does not constitute an entire loss of science. In contrast to more conventional (e.g. scanning or pushbroom) imaging spectrographs, JUDE can provide high time resolution (<1 second) high throughput images over a wide field of view (6° diameter) with no time variation across the field – a capability which is critical in gaining a better understanding of the complex dynamical processes taking place in the Jovian magnetosphere. The primary optic in each channel is a multilayer-coated mirror operating at normal incidence, with flight heritage in the form of the scan mirror in the Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS) now en-route to Jupiter onboard JUNO. The imaging channel uses a secondary mirror to of a similar type to focus the image onto the focal plane detector, while in the spectrograph channel, the secondary is a spherical, holographic grating. The spectrograph design is simple, with heritage in airglow spectrographs flown on terrestrial UV missions, and the Imaging UV Spectrograph for MAVEN. The grating element is produced by Jobin-Yvon, who have produced diffraction gratings for major missions including SOHO and HST. Each channel includes an identical microchannel plate (MCP) detector with the robust, radiation-tolerant performance required for a mission in the formidable environment of Jupiter. Such detectors are well proven, having flown on many missions including ROSAT (UoL heritage). They have also operated in the vicinity of Jupiter, in the focal plane of the UV spectrograph onboard the Voyager probes. The detector readout is a new type of capacitive division image charge readout (C-DIR; invented by Dr Jon Lapington) which offers, simultaneously, high spatial resolution and high count rate performance. Adaptive signal processing capabilities allow JUDE to accommodate the very wide dynamic range expected, from observations of Jupiter’s auroral ovals which emit with intensities of mega Rayleighs, to the weak (few tens of Rayleigh) emissions found at Ganymede. The readout structure is simple and robust, and has already been demonstrated in laboratory trials, while the electronics chain has its heritage in particle physics detectors, and has therefore been designed with radiation tolerance as a primary consideration. Pre-launch and in-flight calibrations will be implemented to assure that the JUDE data are suitable for quantitative scientific analysis. The proposed JUDE configuration successfully meets the scientific objectives of the JUICE mission. Our decision to implement an imaging channel instead of covering the MUV waveband increases the whole mission’s scientific output while remaining compliant with the MPDD. Due to its high-temporal resolution read-out system, JUDE is capable of producing volumes of data that are incompatible with the limited telemetry allocated to the UV instrument, even after a modest compression factor is applied. We therefore have proposed a mode of operation (the JUDE reference mode) which takes 1 minute snapshots over an observation opportunity (for example during a flyby sequence). Using this reference mode, and taking the maximum count rate estimates for the various targets, we find that the JUDE data volume is compliant with the tight allocation for the UV instrumentation of 40 GBytes/year The JUDE design presented in this proposal is above the mass allocation. We believe that all components of our design are necessary to reach the scientific goals of JUICE mission and that any major changes (such as the descope of a channel) will be at the considerable expense of the expected science return. However, further optimisation will be performed during the Phase A to bring JUDE into the allocated mass envelope while compromising its scientific return only slightly. We propose an efficient management structure with clearly delineated responsibilities. The Principal Investigator, Prof. Denis Grodent (Be) will take on the responsibilities as specified in the JUICE payload Announcement of Opportunity, supported closely by the Co-PI Dr Emma Bunce (UK) and by the team of Co-Investigators. The contribution of each country is represented by lead Co-Investigators: Prof. John Clarke (Boston University), Dr. Candy Hansen (PSI), and Dr Xianzhe Jia (University of Michigan), and Dr Nigel Bannister (UK) as CoI and Instrument Scientist (see Figure 1 below). The philosophy has been to assign well-defined tasks to each institute with an overall project manager to coordinate the efforts. The Consortium Project Manager (Etienne Renotte, CSL) will execute the managerial tasks relevant to the instrument development. The Product and Quality Assurance management will be implemented by all hardware contributors. Each consortium institute has a local project manager for their respective work packages, reporting to the Consortium Project Manager. The outreach potential of JUDE’s instantaneous wide field images is enormous. The potential PhD students of 2030 who we hope to educate and inspire with JUDE images and spectra are currently 3 years old; their supervisors are in secondary school. The team regards the educational aspects of the instrument and data as particularly important, and we plan a comprehensive JUDE/JUICE programme of outreach to schools and to the public, as part of the project and one which will be initiated upon selection. The national funding agency of Belgium serves as the Lead Funding Agency (LFA) for the JUDE instrument. The letters of endorsement from Belgium and United Kingdom are included in this proposal. Although the agencies endorse their respective national contributions, funding will be secured after the selection of the instrument proposal, according to the usual procedure. [less ▲]

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See detailCassini-UVIS observation of dayglow FUV emissions of carbon in the thermosphere of Venus
Hubert, Benoît ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg et al

in Icarus (2012), 220

We analyze FUV spatially-resolved dayglow spectra obtained at 0.37 nm resolution by the UVIS instrument during the Cassini flyby of Venus. The intensities of the ultraviolet multiplets of carbon at 126.1 ... [more ▼]

We analyze FUV spatially-resolved dayglow spectra obtained at 0.37 nm resolution by the UVIS instrument during the Cassini flyby of Venus. The intensities of the ultraviolet multiplets of carbon at 126.1, 156.1 and 165.7 nm are determined using a least squares fit technique applied to all dayglow spectra recorded by UVIS along the Cassini track. These intensities are compared with the results of a full radiative transfer model of these emissions, that includes the known photochemical sources of photons and resonant scattering of sunlight. The carbon density profile of the Venus thermosphere has never been directly measured and is taken from a model. We find a serious disagreement between these observations and modeling that can be accounted for by applying a scaling factor to the carbon column. This needed scaling factor is found to increase monotonically with solar zenith angle, suggesting a possible photochemical origin to the disagreement, possibly involving the photochemistry of molecular oxygen to which the carbon density is highly sensitive. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Miller, S. et al

Conference (2012)

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See detailSaturn night-­‐side variability
Pryor, W.; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Holsclaw, G. et al

Conference (2012)

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See detailMulti‐spectral simultaneous observations of Saturn's aurorae in Jan. 2009
Lamy, L.; Prange, R.; Gustin, Jacques ULg et al

Conference (2012)

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See detailUranus Pathfinder: exploring the origins and evolution of Ice Giant planets
Arridge, Christopher S.; Agnor, Craig B.; Andre, Nicolas et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2012)

The "Ice Giants" Uranus and Neptune are a different class of planet compared to Jupiter and Saturn. Studying these objects is important for furthering our understanding of the formation and evolution of ... [more ▼]

The "Ice Giants" Uranus and Neptune are a different class of planet compared to Jupiter and Saturn. Studying these objects is important for furthering our understanding of the formation and evolution of the planets, and unravelling the fundamental physical and chemical processes in the Solar System. The importance of filling these gaps in our knowledge of the Solar System is particularly acute when trying to apply our understanding to the numerous planetary systems that have been discovered around other stars. The Uranus Pathfinder (UP) mission thus represents the quintessential aspects of the objectives of the European planetary community as expressed in ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025. UP was proposed to the European Space Agency's M3 call for medium-class missions in 2010 and proposed to be the first orbiter of an Ice Giant planet. As the most accessible Ice Giant within the M-class mission envelope Uranus was identified as the mission target. Although not selected for this call the UP mission concept provides a baseline framework for the exploration of Uranus with existing low-cost platforms and underlines the need to develop power sources suitable for the outer Solar System. The UP science case is based around exploring the origins, evolution, and processes at work in Ice Giant planetary systems. Three broad themes were identified: (1) Uranus as an Ice Giant, (2) An Ice Giant planetary system, and (3) An asymmetric magnetosphere. Due to the long interplanetary transfer from Earth to Uranus a significant cruise-phase science theme was also developed. The UP mission concept calls for the use of a Mars Express/Rosetta-type platform to launch on a Soyuz-Fregat in 2021 and entering into an eccentric polar orbit around Uranus in the 2036-2037 timeframe. The science payload has a strong heritage in Europe and beyond and requires no significant technology developments. [less ▲]

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See detailAuroral counterpart of magnetic field dipolarizations in Saturn's tail
Jackman, C. M.; Achilleos, N.; Bunce, E. J. et al

in American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2011, abstract #SM14A-07 (2011, December 01)

Following magnetic reconnection in a planetary magnetotail, newly closed field lines can be rapidly accelerated back towards the planet, becoming "dipolarized" in the process. At Saturn, dipolarizations ... [more ▼]

Following magnetic reconnection in a planetary magnetotail, newly closed field lines can be rapidly accelerated back towards the planet, becoming "dipolarized" in the process. At Saturn, dipolarizations can be initially identified from the magnetometer data by looking for a southward turning of the magnetic field, indicating the transition from a radially stretched configuration to a more dipolar field topology. The highly stretched geometry of the kronian magnetotail lobes gives rise to a tail current which flows eastward (dusk to dawn) in the near equatorial plane across the centre of the tail. During reconnection and associated dipolarization of the field, the inner edge of this tail current can be diverted through the ionosphere, in a situation analogous to the substorm current wedge picture at Earth [McPherron et al. 1973]. We present a picture of the current circuit arising from this tail reconfiguration, and outline the equations which govern the field-current relationship. We show a number of examples of dipolarizations as identified in the Cassini magnetometer data and use this formalism to calculate limits for the ionospheric current density that would arise for these examples. In addition to the magnetometer data, we also present data from the Cassini VIMS and UVIS instruments which have observed small 'spots' of auroral emission lying near the main oval - features thought to be associated with dipolarizations in the tail. We compare the auroral intensities as predicted from our calculation with the observed spot sizes and intensities. [less ▲]

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See detailSaturn's aurora as viewed by Cassini VIMS
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Badman, S. V. et al

Conference (2011, December 01)

The stunning views of the kronian aurora captured by the Visual and Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (VIMS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft continues to provide crucial observations of the fervent interaction ... [more ▼]

The stunning views of the kronian aurora captured by the Visual and Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (VIMS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft continues to provide crucial observations of the fervent interaction between the upper atmosphere and the magnetosphere of Saturn. Here, we present recent findings of VIMS auroral research, which includes both statistical studies and case studies of auroral events and morphology. In addition to stand-alone observations, there is a small subset of VIMS observations during which UVIS was also acquiring data. These observations enable the comparison between observations of H, H2 in the ultraviolet and H3+ in the infrared that are both spatially overlapping and temporally simultaneous. Whilst emission tends to coincide for these three species on the main oval, there are significant differences both pole-ward and equator-ward, such that observations of H and H2 is generally a poor proxy for emissions of H3+. VIMS is sensitive to infrared thermal emission from the H3+ molecule, which is formed very efficiently via the ionisation of H2. Therefore, the morphology of H3+ emission becomes a tracer of energy injected into the upper atmosphere - the most striking of which is auroral particle precipitation. [less ▲]

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See detailCassini UVIS Observations of Titan Ultraviolet Airglow Spectra with Laboratory Modeling from Electron- and Proton-Excited N2 Emission Studies
Ajello, J. M.; West, R. A.; Malone, C. P. et al

Conference (2011, December 01)

Joseph M. Ajello, Robert A. West, Rao S. Mangina Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 Charles P. Malone Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of ... [more ▼]

Joseph M. Ajello, Robert A. West, Rao S. Mangina Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 Charles P. Malone Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 & Department of Physics, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92834 Michael H. Stevens Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 Jacques Gustin Laboratoire de Physique Atmosphérique et Planétaire, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium A. Ian F. Stewart, Larry W. Esposito, William E. McClintock, Gregory M. Holsclaw Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303 E. Todd Bradley Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816 The Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) observed photon emissions of Titan's day and night limb-airglow and disk-airglow on multiple occasions, including three eclipse observations from 2009 through 2010. The 77 airglow observations analyzed in this paper show EUV (600-1150 Å) and FUV (1150-1900 Å) atomic multiplet lines and band emissions (lifetimes less than ~100 μs), including the Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) band system, arising from photoelectron induced fluorescence and solar photo-fragmentation of molecular nitrogen (N2). The altitude of peak UV emission on the limb of Titan during daylight occurred inside the thermosphere/ionosphere (near 1000 km altitude). However, at night on the limb, the same emission features, but much weaker in intensity, arise in the lower atmosphere below 1000 km (lower thermosphere, mesosphere, haze layer) extending downwards to near the surface at ~300 km, possibly resulting from proton- and/or heavier ion-induced emissions as well as secondary-electron-induced emissions. The eclipse observations are unique. UV emissions were observed during only one of the three eclipse events, and no Vegard-Kaplan (VK) or LBH emissions were seen. Through regression analysis using laboratory spectra, we have analyzed the intensity and identified each spectral feature from the limb or disk emission spectrum. The strongest dipole-allowed transitions of N2 occur in the EUV. The electronic transitions proceed from the X 1Σg+ ground-state to about seven closely spaced (~12-15 eV) Rydberg-valence (RV) states, which are the source of the molecular emissions in the EUV observed by spacecraft and have recently been studied in our laboratory at medium-to-high spectral resolution (delta-λ = 0.1 Å FWHM). Three of these RV states (b 1Πu, b' 1Σu+, and c4' 1Σu+) are highly-perturbed, weakly-to-strongly predissociated, and have significant emission cross sections, which will be summarized in this paper. We will also discuss our recently published proton and electron impact emission cross sections for the LBH (a 1Πg - X 1Σg+) band system of N2, and their significance to the modeling of the day and night FUV spectra of the atmospheres of Earth and Titan. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Miller, S. et al

in EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011 (2011, October 01)

Here, temporally simultaneous and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. The pointing is fixed at a constant local time of 04:55, covering ... [more ▼]

Here, temporally simultaneous and spatially overlapping Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora are presented. The pointing is fixed at a constant local time of 04:55, covering latitudes between 64°S and 82°S and longitudes between 127° and 186°. The spatial resolution is high, with 1 mrad covering ˜300 km, such that only a small part of the pre-dawn aurora is observed. Ultraviolet auroral H and H2 emissions from UVIS are compared to infrared H+3 emission from VIMS. The auroral emission is structured into three arcs - H, H2 and H+3 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, the UV emission is a good proxy for the infrared H+3 morphology (and vice versa), but for emission either poleward or equatorward this is no longer true. Hence, given the highly dynamic nature of the aurora of Saturn, simultaneous UV/IR observations are crucial for completing the picture of how the atmosphere interacts with the magnetosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailMeasurements of the helium 584 Å airglow during the Cassini flyby of Venus
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Hubert, Benoît ULg et al

in Planetary and Space Science (2011), 59

The helium resonance line at 584 Å has been observed with the UltraViolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) Extreme Ultraviolet channel during the flyby of Venus by Cassini at a period of high solar activity ... [more ▼]

The helium resonance line at 584 Å has been observed with the UltraViolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) Extreme Ultraviolet channel during the flyby of Venus by Cassini at a period of high solar activity. The brightness was measured along the disk from the morning terminator up to the bright limb near local noon. The mean disk intensity was ˜320 R, reaching ˜700 R at the bright limb. These values are slightly higher than those determined from previous observations. The sensitivity of the 584 Å intensity to the helium abundance is analyzed using recent cross-sections and solar irradiance measurements at 584 Å. The intensity distribution along the UVIS footprint on the disk is best reproduced using the EUVAC solar flux model and the helium density distribution from the VTS3 empirical model. It corresponds to a helium density of 8×10[SUP]6[/SUP] cm[SUP]-3[/SUP] at the level of where the CO[SUB]2[/SUB] is 2×10[SUP]10[/SUP] cm[SUP]-3[/SUP]. [less ▲]

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See detailThe energy the auroral electrons in Saturn's atmosphere : remote sensing and thermal consequences
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg et al

Poster (2011, October)

Saturn’s north aurora has been observed between January and May 2011 with the Hubble Space Telescope. The objective was to collect spatially resolved spectra at the different local time from dawn to dusk ... [more ▼]

Saturn’s north aurora has been observed between January and May 2011 with the Hubble Space Telescope. The objective was to collect spatially resolved spectra at the different local time from dawn to dusk and compare them with laboratory or synthetic spectra. For this purpose, HST was programmed to slew from mid-latitudes through the auroral oval up to above the limb while collecting data in the timetag mode. The spectra show signatures of absorption by hydrocarbons present above the peak of the auroral emission. The amount of absorption and implications in terms of penetration of the auroral electron beam into Saturn’s atmosphere will be discussed and compared with other determinations of the altitude of the aurora. The effects of the auroral heat import on the thermal structure of the atmosphere both at high and low altitudes will be examined in the light of these results. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous Cassini VIMS and UVIS observations of Saturn's southern aurora: Comparing emissions from H, H2 and H3+ at a high spatial resolution
Melin, H.; Stallard, T.; Miller, S. et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2011), 38

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 H[SUB]2[/SUB] emissions ... [more ▼]

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 H[SUB]2[/SUB] emissions from UVIS are compared to infrared H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] emission from VIMS. The auroral emission is structured into three arcs - H, H[SUB]2[/SUB] and H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] 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 H[SUB]2[/SUB] and H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]. These observations indicate that, for the main auroral oval, UV emission is a good proxy for the infrared H[SUB]3[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] 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. [less ▲]

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See detailCassini UVIS Observations of Varying Auroral Emissions on Saturn's Night Side
Pryor, W.; Esposito, L.; Jouchoux, A. et al

Poster (2011, July 11)

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See detailAuroral signatures of injections in the magnetosphere of Saturn
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