References of "Gérard, Jean-Claude"
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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 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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See detailTerrestrial OH nightglow measurements during the Rosetta flyby
Migliorini, A.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Soret, Lauriane ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2015), 42

We present a study of the terrestrial hydroxyl nightglow emissions observed with the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer on board the Rosetta mission. During these observations, the OH Δv  ... [more ▼]

We present a study of the terrestrial hydroxyl nightglow emissions observed with the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer on board the Rosetta mission. During these observations, the OH Δv = 1 and 2 sequences were measured simultaneously. This allowed investigating the relative population of the v = 1 to 9 vibrational levels by using both sequences. In particular, the relative population of the vibrational level v = 1 is determined for the first time from observations. The vibrational population decreases with increasing vibrational quantum number. A good agreement is found with a recent model calculation assuming multiquantum relaxation for OH(v) quenching by O2 and single-quantum relaxation for OH(v) by N2. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Mars discrete aurora: Mars Express observations and modeling.
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

Scientific conference (2015, June)

Summary of earlier work Detection of additional ultraviolet auroral events (nadir and limb) Concurrent SPICAM-­‐ASPERA 3 observations Model results Perspectives

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See detailVenus nightglow intensity and solar activity: any correlation?
Soret, Lauriane ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

Conference (2015, May 26)

We examine if any correlation is observed between the brightness of the O2 nightside airglow and the EUV solar irradiance using the full database of VIRTIS IR images. We conclude that, as was the case for ... [more ▼]

We examine if any correlation is observed between the brightness of the O2 nightside airglow and the EUV solar irradiance using the full database of VIRTIS IR images. We conclude that, as was the case for the NO airglow observed during the Pioneer Venus mission, no response to solar activity is observed. [less ▲]

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See detailJupiter’s aurora, ultraviolet, visible and infrared views: what can we learn?
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg

Scientific conference (2015, May 15)

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See detailJupiter's equatorward auroral features
Dumont, Maïté ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Radioti, Aikaterini ULg et al

Conference (2015, May 13)

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See detailTen years of Martian nitric oxide nightglow observations
Stiepen, Arnaud ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Gagné, Marie-Eve et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2015)

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See detailMonte Carlo Simulation of Metastable Oxygen Photochemistry in Cometary Atmospheres
Bisikalo, D. V.; Shematovich, V. I.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2015), 798

Cometary atmospheres are produced by the outgassing of material, mainly H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO, and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] from the nucleus of the comet under the energy input from the Sun. Subsequent photochemical ... [more ▼]

Cometary atmospheres are produced by the outgassing of material, mainly H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO, and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] from the nucleus of the comet under the energy input from the Sun. Subsequent photochemical processes lead to the production of other species generally absent from the nucleus, such as OH. Although all comets are different, they all have a highly rarefied atmosphere, which is an ideal environment for nonthermal photochemical processes to take place and influence the detailed state of the atmosphere. We develop a Monte Carlo model of the coma photochemistry. We compute the energy distribution functions (EDF) of the metastable O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) species and obtain the red (630 nm) and green (557.7 nm) spectral line shapes of the full coma, consistent with the computed EDFs and the expansion velocity. We show that both species have a severely non-Maxwellian EDF, that results in broad spectral lines and the suprathermal broadening dominates due to the expansion motion. We apply our model to the atmosphere of comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) and 103P/Hartley 2. The computed width of the green line, expressed in terms of speed, is lower than that of the red line. This result is comparable to previous theoretical analyses, but in disagreement with observations. We explain that the spectral line shape does not only depend on the exothermicity of the photochemical production mechanisms, but also on thermalization, due to elastic collisions, reducing the width of the emission line coming from the O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) level, which has a longer lifetime. [less ▲]

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See detailAuroral spirals at Saturn
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2015)

We report Cassini/UVIS observations of auroral vortices at Saturn propagating from midnight to noon via dawn. The emission in the dawn auroral sector is observed to consist of several detached features ... [more ▼]

We report Cassini/UVIS observations of auroral vortices at Saturn propagating from midnight to noon via dawn. The emission in the dawn auroral sector is observed to consist of several detached features that swirl with time. They have a diameter of 6000 km in the ionosphere, which would correspond to plasma vortices in the magnetosphere of 12 to 15 Rs. ENA enhancements are observed simultaneously. However, they do not show any clear vortices. We estimate the velocity of the UV auroral feature to decrease from 85% of rigid corotation (28o/h) in the most equatorward part of the aurora to 68% of rigid corotation (22o/h) in the poleward part and we demonstrate that such velocity gradient could result in swirling auroral features. Particle velocities derived from magnetospheric data in previous studies, confirm large variations of the corotation fraction as a function of radial distance. We suggest that the auroral vortices could be the ionospheric footprints of hot dynamic populations containing strong velocity gradients. Alternatively, we consider another scenario that could generate auroral vortices based on field line deformation from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere, like it is proposed for the Earth. In that case the auroral spiral is the result of some processes that occurred in the transition region between the centers of vortices where strong shear flows existed. Finally, a third possibility is considered, according to which the auroral vortices reported here are the direct optical signatures of the plasma vortical flows in the magnetopause related to Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. However, this might be less possible due to the very different spatial scales of the auroral features (12-15 Rs) and the observed plasma vortices in the magnetopause (1 Rs). [less ▲]

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See detailA multi-scale magnetotail reconnection event at Saturn and associated flows: Cassini/UVIS auroral observations
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Jia, X. et al

Conference (2015)

We present high-resolution Cassini/UVIS (Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph) observations of Saturn's aurora during May 2013 (DOY 140-141). The observations reveal an enhanced auroral activity in the ... [more ▼]

We present high-resolution Cassini/UVIS (Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph) observations of Saturn's aurora during May 2013 (DOY 140-141). The observations reveal an enhanced auroral activity in the midnight-dawn quadrant in an extended local time sector (~02 to 05 LT), which rotates with an average velocity of ~ 45% of rigid corotation. The auroral dawn enhancement reported here, given its observed location and brightness, is most probably due to hot tenuous plasma carried inward in fast moving flux tubes returning from a tail reconnection site to the dayside. These flux tubes could generate intense field-aligned currents that would cause aurora to brighten. However, the origin of tail reconnection (solar wind or internally driven) is uncertain. Based mainly on the flux variations, which do not demonstrate flux closure, we suggest that the most plausible scenario is that of internally driven tail reconnection which operates on closed field lines. The observations also reveal multiple intensifications within the enhanced region suggesting an x-line in the tail, which extends from 02 to 05 LT. The localised enhancements evolve in arc and spot-like small scale features, which resemble vortices mainly in the beginning of the sequence. These auroral features could be related to plasma flows enhanced from reconnection which diverge into multiple narrow channels then spread azimuthally and radially. We suggest that the evolution of tail reconnection at Saturn may be pictured by an ensemble of numerous narrow current wedges or that inward transport initiated in the reconnection region could be explained by multiple localised flow burst events. The formation of vortical-like structures could then be related to field-aligned currents, building up in vortical flows in the tail. An alternative, but less plausible, scenario could be that the small scale auroral structures are related to viscous interactions involving small-scale reconnection. [less ▲]

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See detailThe EChO science case
Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul et al

in ArXiv e-prints (2015), 1502

The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general ... [more ▼]

The discovery of almost 2000 exoplanets has revealed an unexpectedly diverse planet population. Observations to date have shown that our Solar System is certainly not representative of the general population of planets in our Milky Way. The key science questions that urgently need addressing are therefore: What are exoplanets made of? Why are planets as they are? What causes the exceptional diversity observed as compared to the Solar System? EChO (Exoplanet Characterisation Observatory) has been designed as a dedicated survey mission for transit and eclipse spectroscopy capable of observing a large and diverse planet sample within its four-year mission lifetime. EChO can target the atmospheres of super-Earths, Neptune-like, and Jupiter-like planets, in the very hot to temperate zones (planet temperatures of 300K-3000K) of F to M-type host stars. Over the next ten years, several new ground- and space-based transit surveys will come on-line (e.g. NGTS, CHEOPS, TESS, PLATO), which will specifically focus on finding bright, nearby systems. The current rapid rate of discovery would allow the target list to be further optimised in the years prior to EChO's launch and enable the atmospheric characterisation of hundreds of planets. Placing the satellite at L2 provides a cold and stable thermal environment, as well as a large field of regard to allow efficient time-critical observation of targets randomly distributed over the sky. A 1m class telescope is sufficiently large to achieve the necessary spectro-photometric precision. The spectral coverage (0.5-11 micron, goal 16 micron) and SNR to be achieved by EChO, thanks to its high stability and dedicated design, would enable a very accurate measurement of the atmospheric composition and structure of hundreds of exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailSolar Wind Interaction with the Magnetosphere of Jupiter : Impact on the Magnetopause and the Aurorae
Bonfond, Bertrand ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2014, November 20)

The outcome of the interaction between the solar wind and the Jovian magnetic field bears many differences compared to the Earth's case. At Earth, the solar wind is the major particle and energy source in ... [more ▼]

The outcome of the interaction between the solar wind and the Jovian magnetic field bears many differences compared to the Earth's case. At Earth, the solar wind is the major particle and energy source in the magnetosphere. At Jupiter, the tremendous volcanism on the moon Io is the main plasma source and Jupiter's rapid rotation (relative to its size) is the main energy source for the particles populating its magnetosphere. Combined with a weaker solar wind pressure and a larger Alfvén Mach number as the distance from the Sun increases, all these parameters modify the relative importance of large scale Dungey reconnection and viscous interaction at the magnetopause. In order to study these differences, here we present a statistical analysis of magnetopause waves and flux tube event on the Jovian magnetopause, based on in-situ measurement from the spacecraft that flew-by or orbited around Jupiter. Moreover, variations of the solar wind have significant impact on the Jovian magnetospheric current systems and such changes reflect on the aurora. In this presentation, we will also review the recent findings concerning the aurora at Jupiter and their relationship with the solar wind. [less ▲]

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See detailSpace Weather at Saturn - Auroral observations
Radioti, Aikaterini ULg; Grodent, Denis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Conference (2014, November)

Unlike to Earth, Saturn is a fast rotator and its magnetosphere is dominated by fast planetary rotation and internally driven processes. However, the interaction of the solar wind with Saturn’s ... [more ▼]

Unlike to Earth, Saturn is a fast rotator and its magnetosphere is dominated by fast planetary rotation and internally driven processes. However, the interaction of the solar wind with Saturn’s magnetosphere is not negligible and it is manifested among others in the auroral region. The interplanetary magnetic field reconnects with the dayside magnetopause at Saturn and results in enhancements in the auroral emission accompanied by entry of significant amount of open flux in the magnetosphere. The solar wind affects also the nightside magnetosphere. Dramatic enhancements of the nightside-dawn auroral emissions have been attributed to solar wind-induced auroral storms. Additionally, recent auroral observations revealed the presence of a transpolar arc at Saturn, one of the most spectacular auroral features at Earth, which could be possibly related to solar wind driven tail reconnection. Finally, there is evidence of viscous interaction of the solar wind with Saturn’s magnetosphere, which involves magnetic reconnection on a small scale. [less ▲]

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