Dynamic auroral storms on Saturn as observed by the Hubble Space Telescope

Nichols, J. D. and Badman, S. V. and Baines, K. H. and Brown, R. H. and Bunce, E. J. and Clarke, J. T. and Cowley, S. W. H. and Crary, F. J. and Dougherty, M. K. and Gerard, J.-C. and Grocott, Adrian and Grodent, Denis and Kurth, W.S. and Melin, Henrik and Mitchell, D. G. and Pryor, W. R. and Stallard, T. S. (2014) Dynamic auroral storms on Saturn as observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (10). pp. 3323-3330. ISSN 0094-8276

[thumbnail of grl51680]
PDF (grl51680)
grl51680.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (4MB)


We present observations of significant dynamics within two UV auroral storms observed on Saturn using the Hubble Space Telescope in April/May 2013. Specifically, we discuss bursts of auroral emission observed at the poleward boundary of a solar wind-induced auroral storm, propagating at ∼330% rigid corotation from near ∼01 h LT toward ∼08 h LT. We suggest that these are indicative of ongoing, bursty reconnection of lobe flux in the magnetotail, providing strong evidence that Saturn’s auroral storms are caused by large-scale flux closure. We also discuss the later evolution of a similar storm and show that the emission maps to the trailing region of an energetic neutral atom enhancement. We thus identify the auroral form with the upward field-aligned continuity currents flowing into the associated partial ring current.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Information:
©2014. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? saturnaurorasmagnetospheremagnetotailgeophysicsearth and planetary sciences(all) ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Jun 2014 09:07
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:31