References of "Gérard, Jean-Claude"
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See detailThe O2(a1Δ) Venus nightglow intensity: internal versus solar activity control
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

Conference (2016, April)

Introduction: The O2(a1Δg) Venus nightglow emission at 1.27 μm occurs in the atmospheric region governed by the subsolar to antisolar circulation. Several studies showed that the intensity of this ... [more ▼]

Introduction: The O2(a1Δg) Venus nightglow emission at 1.27 μm occurs in the atmospheric region governed by the subsolar to antisolar circulation. Several studies showed that the intensity of this emission is highly variable on a timescale of hours. Here, we study the possible correlation between the solar flux and the O2 infrared emission using VIRTIS-VEx spectral images at 1.27 μm that has been predicted to exist by theVTGCM model calculations by Bougher and Borucki(1994). VIRTIS data: Using the entire VIRTIS-M-IR nadir database, Soret et al. (2014) generated seven statistical maps of the O2(a1Δg) emission, each containing 500 observations. The purpose was to analyze the location of the brightest spot of the emission and its variations over time. Here, we analyze the intensity of the emission over time. Several methods have been used by Soret et al., (2015) to do so (evolution of the emission maximum, evolution of the average intensity, …) Here we present the results of a new analysis using a masking technique to calculate the time evolution of the nightglow brightness. However, none of them follow the same trend over time. Solar flux data: We now focus on solar flux variations in the time of VIRTIS observations (between May 2006 and October 2008), which were collected during a deep solar minimum. We use the SOHO-CELIAS/SEM (Judge et al., 1998) EUV daily average full solar disk fluxes at 1 AU between 0.1 and 50 nm available from the Space Sciences Center of the University of Southern California. EUV0.1–50 daily average fluxes decrease from 2.6 in May 2006 to 1.9 in October 2008 at the Earth. These values have been adapted to Venus by taking into account the distance from the Sun to the planet, but also the shift in date, considering the difference in solar longitude of the two planets. Values at Venus vary from 4.4 to 3.4, which corresponds to a decrease of 10.4% of the solar flux at Venus compared to a complete solar cycle (ranging from 13.5 to 3.9) Comparison of VIRTIS and SEM datasets: The linear correlation coefficient between the solar flux and the intensity peak is found to be 0.62, which expresses the global decreasing trend for both quantities. This coefficient is not higher because internal variations of the two studied variables do not occur simultaneously. More significantly, the correlation coefficient between the solar flux and the averaged intensities is found to be 0.35, meaning that no relation-ship exists between the O2(a1Δg) brightness and the solar activity. Conclusions: Contrary to the VTGCM calculations, we do not observe here a correlation between the O2(a1Δg) brightness and the solar flux. However, VIRTIS data were acquired during a deep solar minimum and, more importantly, during a relatively stable phase of the solar activity. A high level of variability of the O2(a1Δg) emission has been detected in the same dataset from day to day though (Hueso et al., 2008; Soret et al., 2014). It thus appears that the variability is more controlled by internal than external conditions: transport appears to play a major role in the nightglow emissions than the solar activity eventually does. This conclusion is at least valid for solar minimum conditions. A space mission with global imaging capabilities over an entire solar cycle would definitely allow determining the relative role played by solar activity and internal factors. [less ▲]

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See detailThe color ratio-intensity relation in the Jovian aurora: Hubble observations of auroral components
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg et al

in Planetary and Space Science (2016), 131

Spectral observations made with the long slit of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on board Hubble have been used to construct spectral maps of the FUV Jovian aurora. They reveal that the ... [more ▼]

Spectral observations made with the long slit of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on board Hubble have been used to construct spectral maps of the FUV Jovian aurora. They reveal that the amount of absorption by overlying methane shows significant spatial variations. In this report, we examine the relationship between the auroral brightness of the unabsorbed H2 emission that is proportional to the precipitated electron energy flux, and the ultraviolet color ratio, a proxy of the mean electron energy. We find that it varies significantly between the different components of the aurora and in the polar region. Although no global dependence can be found, we show that the two quantities are better organized in some auroral components such as regions of the main aurororal emission. By contrast, the dependence of the electron characteristic energy in high-latitude and diffuse aurora regions on the auroral energy input is generally more scattered. We conclude that the various auroral components are associated with different electron acceleration processes, some of which are not governed by a simple relation linking the value of a field-aligned acceleration potential with the parallel currents flowing from the ionosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailHST-Juno synergistic approach of Jupiter's magnetosphere and ultraviolet auroras
Grodent, Denis ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

E-print/Working paper (2016)

Jupiter's system is not only fundamental to our understanding of the solar system but also of planetary systems around other stars as well as more distant astrophysical bodies, not accessible to a ... [more ▼]

Jupiter's system is not only fundamental to our understanding of the solar system but also of planetary systems around other stars as well as more distant astrophysical bodies, not accessible to a detailed investigation. Fully exploiting any rare opportunity to explore the Jovian system through synergistic observations is thus critical, as it will impact significantly across wider astronomical studies. Such an exceptional opportunity will occur in Cycle 24, when the NASA Juno spacecraft will achieve its prime mission around Jupiter. Since Juno will literally fly through the auroral acceleration regions, the combination of HST auroral observations with Juno in situ measurements will allow us to finally unravel the origins and consequences of Jupiter's powerful and highly variable ultraviolet auroras. This occasion has never occurred before and is unlikely to ever repeat. Juno will address key scientific issues related to unexplored regions of the Jovian magnetosphere. The auroral signatures associated with these magnetospheric processes will be precisely observed with STIS and COS. This program responds to the UV initiative and is only possible during Cycle 24. Indeed, HST is the only observatory capable of making these high spatial and temporal resolution FUV observations during the Juno mission. This ambitious campaign will yield high-impact results and significantly augment the science return of the NASA Juno mission. [less ▲]

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See detailScientific Problems Addressed by the Spektr-UV Space Project (World Space Observatory—Ultraviolet)
Boyarchuk, A.A.; others; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Astronomy Reports (2016), 60(1), 1-42

The article presents a review of scientific problems and methods of ultraviolet astronomy, focusing on perspective scientific problems (directions) whose solution requires UV space observatories. These ... [more ▼]

The article presents a review of scientific problems and methods of ultraviolet astronomy, focusing on perspective scientific problems (directions) whose solution requires UV space observatories. These include reionization and the history of star formation in the Universe, searches for dark baryonic matter, physical and chemical processes in the interstellar medium and protoplanetary disks, the physics of accretion and outflows in astrophysical objects, from Active Galactic Nuclei to close binary stars, stellar activity (for both low-mass and high-mass stars), and processes occurring in the atmospheres of both planets in the solar system and exoplanets. Technological progress in UV astronomy achieved in recent years is also considered. The well advanced, international, Russian-led Spektr-UV (World Space Observatory—Ultraviolet) project is described in more detail. This project is directed at creating a major space observatory operational in the ultraviolet (115–310 nm). This observatory will provide an effective, and possibly the only, powerful means of observing in this spectral range over the next ten years, and will be an powerful tool for resolving many topical scientific problems. [less ▲]

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See detailSPICAM observations and modeling of Mars aurorae
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Libert, Ludivine ULg et al

in Icarus (2016), 264

Martian aurorae have been detected with the SPICAM instrument on board Mars Express both in the nadir and the limb viewing modes. In this study, we focus on three limb observations to determine both the ... [more ▼]

Martian aurorae have been detected with the SPICAM instrument on board Mars Express both in the nadir and the limb viewing modes. In this study, we focus on three limb observations to determine both the altitudes and the intensities of the auroral emissions. The CO (a3P–X1R) Cameron bands between 190 and 270 nm, the CO Fourth Positive system (CO 4P) between 135 and 170 nm, the CO2+ doublet at 289 nm, the OI at 297.2 nm and the 130.4 nm OI triplet emissions have been identified in the spectra and in the time variations of the signals. The intensities of these auroral emissions have been quantified and the altitude of the strongest emission of the CO Cameron bands has been estimated to be 137 ± 27 km. The locations of these auroral events have also been determined and correspond to the statistical boundary of open-closed magnetic field lines, in cusp-like structures. The observed altitudes of the auroral emissions are reproduced by a Monte-Carlo model of electron transport in the Martian thermosphere for mono-energetic electrons between 40 and 200 eV. No correlation between electron fluxes measured in the upper thermosphere and nadir auroral intensity has been found. Here, we simulate auroral emissions observed both at the limb and at the nadir using electron energy spectra simultaneously measured with the ASPERA-3/ELS instrument. The simulated altitudes are in very good agreement with the observations. We find that predicted vertically integrated intensities for the various auroral emissions are overestimated, probably as a consequence of the inclination and curvature of the magnetic field line threading the aurora. However, the relative brightness of the CO and CO2+ emissions is in good agreement with the observations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Mars discrete aurora: morphology, altitude and role of crustal magnetic field
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

Scientific conference (2015, December 01)

We present results obtained during 2015 in the framework of BELSPO's SCOOP/BRAIN project. They concern the morphology, frequency, structure of the Mars discrete aurora and the influence of the residual ... [more ▼]

We present results obtained during 2015 in the framework of BELSPO's SCOOP/BRAIN project. They concern the morphology, frequency, structure of the Mars discrete aurora and the influence of the residual crustal magnetic field. [less ▲]

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See detailIs the O2(a1Δg) Venus nightglow emission controlled by solar activity ?
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

in Icarus (2015), 262

Several past studies showed that the O2(a1Δg) Venus nightglow emission at 1.27 μm is highly variable on a timescale of hours. We examine whether the intensity of this emission shows a more global trend ... [more ▼]

Several past studies showed that the O2(a1Δg) Venus nightglow emission at 1.27 μm is highly variable on a timescale of hours. We examine whether the intensity of this emission shows a more global trend linked to solar activity. [less ▲]

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See detailUltraviolet auroral emissions on giant planets
Grodent, Denis ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Radioti, Aikaterini ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 25)

The aurorae on Jupiter and Saturn are the most powerful proper ultraviolet emissions in our solar system, after the Sun’s. They can only be observed outside the absorbing atmosphere of the Earth with ... [more ▼]

The aurorae on Jupiter and Saturn are the most powerful proper ultraviolet emissions in our solar system, after the Sun’s. They can only be observed outside the absorbing atmosphere of the Earth with space telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope or the Hisaki Telescope, or from Spacecraft orbiting these planets, like Cassini for Saturn and Juno for Jupiter. We will review the types of observation that can be obtained with these different instruments and how this information can be used to interpret the auroral emissions. [less ▲]

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See detailMars nighttime aurora
European Space Agency, ESA/ATG medialab; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg

E-print/Working paper (2015)

Press release by the European Space Agency (ESA) on the occasion of the publication in two journals of the peer-reviewed literature

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See detailThe far-ultraviolet main auroral emission at Jupiter – Part 1: Dawn–dusk brightness asymmetries
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Annales Geophysicae (2015), 33

The main auroral emission at Jupiter generally appears as a quasi-closed curtain centered around the magnetic pole. This auroral feature, which accounts for approximately half of the total power emitted ... [more ▼]

The main auroral emission at Jupiter generally appears as a quasi-closed curtain centered around the magnetic pole. This auroral feature, which accounts for approximately half of the total power emitted by the aurorae in the ultraviolet range, is related to corotation enforcement currents in the middle magnetosphere. Early models for these currents assumed axisymmetry, but significant local time variability is obvious on any image of the Jovian aurorae. Here we use far-UV images from the Hubble Space Telescope to further characterize these variations on a statistical basis. We show that the dusk side sector is ~ 3 times brighter than the dawn side in the southern hemisphere and ~ 1.1 brighter in the northern hemisphere, where the magnetic anomaly complicates the interpretation of the measurements. We suggest that such an asymmetry between the dawn and the dusk sectors could be the result of a partial ring current in the nightside magnetosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailThe far-ultraviolet main auroral emission at Jupiter – Part 2: Vertical emission profile
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Annales Geophysicae (2015), 33

The aurorae at Jupiter are made up of many different features associated with a variety of generation mechanisms. The main auroral emission, also known as the main oval, is the most prominent of them as ... [more ▼]

The aurorae at Jupiter are made up of many different features associated with a variety of generation mechanisms. The main auroral emission, also known as the main oval, is the most prominent of them as it accounts for approximately half of the total power emitted by the aurorae in the ultraviolet range. The energy of the precipitating electrons is a crucial parameter to characterize the processes at play which give rise to these auroral emissions, and the altitude of the emissions directly depends on this energy. Here we make use of far-UV (FUV) images acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope and spectra acquired with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph to measure the vertical profile of the main emissions. The altitude of the brightness peak as seen above the limb is ~ 400 km, which is significantly higher than the 250 km measured in the post-dusk sector by Galileo in the visible domain. However, a detailed analysis of the effect of hydrocarbon absorption, including both simulations and FUV spectral observations, indicates that FUV apparent vertical profiles should be considered with caution, as these observations are not incompatible with an emission peak located at 250 km. The analysis also calls for spectral observations to be carried out with an optimized geometry in order to remove observational ambiguities. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamics of the active region in Jupiter’s aurorae
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Badman, Sarah et al

Conference (2015, September 29)

The Far-UV aurorae at Jupiter variety on a wide range of timescales. This study focuses on the dynamics of the active region on timescales of a few minutes. Up to now, only the time-tag mode of the Space ... [more ▼]

The Far-UV aurorae at Jupiter variety on a wide range of timescales. This study focuses on the dynamics of the active region on timescales of a few minutes. Up to now, only the time-tag mode of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph provides access to such fast variations with a high spatial resolution. This active region, located on the dusk flank of the area inside the main auroral oval, is the locus of particularly bright (up to several mega Reyleighs) and sudden (a few tens of seconds) enhancements called flares. A previous study also showed that these flare could reoccur quasi-periodically every 2-3 minutes and propagate from dusk to dawn. Here we use data obtained in 2013 and 2014 to show that this quasi-periodic behavior is only present on half of the cases and that the affected region could either cover the whole active region or a much smaller area (∼5000km^2). We also found areas that were still during part of the observation sequence and then began to blink (see Figure 1). We also show that there no systematically preferred propagation direction. Finally, sequences acquired successively in the two hemispheres show that the quasi-periodic flares can be in phase [less ▲]

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See detailObservations of Mars aurorae
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg; Libert, Ludivine ULg et al

Conference (2015, September)

We present recent results obtained by combining remote sensing observations and in situ measurements of the Martian aurora made from Mars Express.

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See detailTwinkling Lights in the Nightside Upper Atmosphere: How Nightglow Contributes to our Understanding of Global Dynamics
Brecht, Amanda; Bougher, S.; Stiepen, Arnaud ULg et al

Conference (2015, September)

Upper atmospheres of planets continuously emit photons in the UV, Visible, and IR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Some of these emissions are classified as airglow, which includes dayglow and ... [more ▼]

Upper atmospheres of planets continuously emit photons in the UV, Visible, and IR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Some of these emissions are classified as airglow, which includes dayglow and nightglow. There are several mechanisms to create these emissions, but this presentation will focus on nightglow emissions resulting from photochemistry of neutral components. These neutral components originate on the dayside and are transported from the dayside to the nightside of a planet, where they subsequently undergo chemical reactions yielding nightglow. Nightglow emissions serve as effective tracers for planetary middle and upper atmosphere global wind systems due to their variable peak brightness and spatial distributions. The main planetary focus for this presentation will be on Mars and Venus’ atmospheres, due to the similar chemical constituents which populate their upper atmospheres. Currently, NO UV nightglow has been observed (e.g. Venus Express, Mars Express) on both Venus and Mars, while O2 IR nightglow has only been observed on Venus but is predicted to be seen on Mars. The observations show variations in time and location (latitude, local time, and altitude). The locations of the maximum nightglow intensities on each planet are different, but are supportive of the general picture of these two planet’s global circulation patterns. Model implications for both nightglows on both planets can provide valuable insight and understanding of the dynamical and chemical processes creating the nightglow emission variability. Two three-dimensional general circulation models will be utilized: the Venus Thermospheric General Circulation Model (VTGCM) and the Mars Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (MGITM). The model output will be compared to nightglow datasets for each planet individually and planet to planet, to contrast the variations of the nightglow features and the underlying drivers for those variations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Hydroxyl Nightglow Emissions on Earth, Venus and Mars
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Piccioni, G. et al

Poster (2015, August)

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See detailThe Main Auroral Emission at Jupiter: Altitude profile and Dawn-Dusk Asymmetry
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Poster (2015, June 04)

The main auroral emission at Jupiter generally forms a quasi-continuous curtain around each magnetic poles. This emission magnetically maps to the middle magnetosphere and is related to the corotation ... [more ▼]

The main auroral emission at Jupiter generally forms a quasi-continuous curtain around each magnetic poles. This emission magnetically maps to the middle magnetosphere and is related to the corotation enforcement of the plasma originating from the volcanic satellite Io. The first models of corotation enforcement current system at Jupiter assumed symmetry around the magnetic axis. However, observations and further development of these models outlined the importance of local time variability of such currents. In this presentation, we show the results of two studies of this local time variability relying on the large dataset of Far-UV observations from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Knight’s theory of field aligned current predicts that the auroral precipitating energy flux and the energy of the precipitating electrons are correlated. Since the altitude of the auroral emissions decreases as the energy increases, it is thus expected that the altitude of the auroral brightness peak varies as a function of the local time following the variations of the field aligned currents. We compare the altitude of the main emission on the post-dusk side as seen in the visible domain by Galileo’s Solid State Imager and the same altitude for the night side as seen by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board HST in the Far-UV domain. We show some significant differences between the two data sets. Unfortunately, a careful analysis involving both spectral observations and simulations indicates that the Far-UV vertical profiles are hampered by observational ambiguities due to absorption by hydrocarbon molecules. Only additional and judiciously designed new observations could reveal the actual amount of methane along the line of sight. The second study consists in a comparison of the emitted power in local time sectors corresponding to dawn and dusk. Results in the northern hemisphere are difficult to interpret because the magnetic anomaly probably causes a decrease of the auroral brightness in regions of strong magnetic field. In the southern hemisphere, where the field magnitude is more uniform along the main oval, the dusk sector is ~3 times brighter than the dawn sector. In accordance with measurements of magnetic field divergence in the equatorial plane by Galileo, these results suggest the presence of a partial ring current in the night side of the magnetosphere with upward currents in the dawn side and downward currents in the dusk side. [less ▲]

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See detailHubble spectral observations of the Jovian aurora: precipitated flux and electron mean energy
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg et al

Conference (2015, June 02)

The FUV Jovian aurora is excited by collisions of energetic electrons accelerated along the magnetic field lines with the ambient upper atmosphere. The emission is dominated by the H2 Lyman and Werner ... [more ▼]

The FUV Jovian aurora is excited by collisions of energetic electrons accelerated along the magnetic field lines with the ambient upper atmosphere. The emission is dominated by the H2 Lyman and Werner bands extending from the extreme ultraviolet to about 170 nm. The wavelengths below about 135 nm are partly absorbed by the methane layer overlying the auroral emission layer. The long wavelength intensity is proportional to the precipitated energy flux carried by the auroral electrons. Spectral observations with the Hubble Space Telescope were made in 2014 using the long slit of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) in the timetag mode. During these observations, the slit projection scanned the polar region down to mid-latitudes. The combination of spectral and temporal measurements was used to build up the first spectral maps of the FUV Jovian aurora. The two-dimensional distribution of the intensity ratio of the two spectral regions has been obtained by combining spectral emissions in these wavelength ranges. They show that the amount of absorption by methane varies significantly between the different components of the aurora and in the polar region. Outputs from an electron transport model are used to create maps of the distribution of the characteristic electron energies. Using model atmospheres adapted to auroral conditions, we conclude that electron energies generally range between a few tens to several hundred keV. In this presentation, we analyze the relationship between the precipitated electron energy flux and the mean electron energy derived from these observations. Although globally, no correlation can be found, we show that the two quantities co-vary in some auroral components such as in the morning sector or in the striations observed along the main emission. By contrast, the auroral input in some high-latitude regions show no correlation with the electron characteristic energy. These aspects will be quantitatively discussed and possible processes explaining this dichotomy will be proposed. Comparisons of derived energies are in general agreement with those calculated from magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling models, but they locally exceed current model predictions. These results provide a basis for three-dimensional modeling of the distribution of particle heat sources into the high-latitude Jovian upper atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailAuroral emission at Jupiter, through Juno's UVS eyes
Grodent, Denis ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Gladstone, G. et al

Conference (2015, June 02)

Juno’s orbit insertion around Jupiter will take place in little bit more than one year (July 2016). After a 107-day capture orbit (Oct. 2016), it will perform a series of 33 eleven-day science polar ... [more ▼]

Juno’s orbit insertion around Jupiter will take place in little bit more than one year (July 2016). After a 107-day capture orbit (Oct. 2016), it will perform a series of 33 eleven-day science polar orbits offering unprecedented views of the auroral regions of Jupiter. The science payload of Juno includes an UltraViolet Spectrograph (UVS) that will characterize the UV auroral emissions of Jupiter over all science orbits. It will obtain high-resolution images and spectra that will provide context for Juno’s in situ particles and fields measurements in the larger polar magnetosphere with Juno’s JADE and JEDI detectors. At the same time, the MAG instrument will accurately constrain magnetic field models, which will provide the connection between Juno and its field line footprint in the Jovian aurora. The UVS instrument consists of a solar blind MCP detector with a “dog-bone” shape FOV of 0.2°x2.5°+0.025°x2°+0.2°x2.5° providing a spatial resolution of 125 km from 1RJ above the aurora and a spectral resolution of ~0.5 nm (~2 nm for extended sources). It is sensitive to EUV-FUV radiation ranging from 70 nm to 205 nm. Juno is a spin-stabilized spacecraft and is rotating at a frequency of 2 RPM. UVS will take advantage of this motion to scan the auroral regions in the direction perpendicular to the slit, while its steerable pickup mirror (±30° from the spin plane) will make it possible to point at specific regions of the aurora. Juno’s highly eccentric science orbits have a perijove close to 1.05 RJ (~5000 km above cloud deck) and an apojove at ~38 RJ. These orbits approximately lie in the Dawn meridian plane and are such that each successive pass is at a Jovian longitude displaced by 204° from the previous perijove. At perijove, Juno’s velocity will be ~60 km/s and about 20 km/s above the poles, meaning that the spacecraft will move over the northern and southern auroral regions in approximately two hours. In this study, we are using existing HST STIS time-tag sequences of Jupiter’s UV aurorae in order to simulate the expected measurements through UVS FOV along Juno’s predicted trajectory. The simulations account for realistic instrumental specifications and pointing and for the temporal and spatial variability of the aurora. We show the results of image reconstruction obtained from scanning the auroral region with UVS slit and provide some limits on the expected data quality as a function of the location of Juno along its orbit. We also suggest portions of the science orbits for which supporting HST observations will be necessary. [less ▲]

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