Dawn Auroral Breakup at Saturn Initiated by Auroral Arcs:UVIS/Cassini Beginning of Grand Finale Phase

Radioti, A. and Grodent, D. and Yao, Z. H. and Gérard, J.-c. and Badman, S. V. and Pryor, W. and Bonfond, B. (2017) Dawn Auroral Breakup at Saturn Initiated by Auroral Arcs:UVIS/Cassini Beginning of Grand Finale Phase. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122 (12). pp. 12111-12119. ISSN 2169-9380

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Abstract

We present Cassini auroral observations obtained on 11 November 2016 with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph at the beginning of the F-ring orbits and the Grand Finale phase of the mission. The spacecraft made a close approach to Saturn's southern pole and offered a remarkable view of the dayside and nightside aurora. With this sequence we identify, for the first time, the presence of dusk/midnight arcs, which are azimuthally spread from high to low latitudes, suggesting that their source region extends from the outer to middle/inner magnetosphere. The observed arcs could be auroral manifestations of plasma flows propagating toward the planet from the magnetotail, similar to terrestrial “auroral streamers.” During the sequence the dawn auroral region brightens and expands poleward. We suggest that the dawn auroral breakup results from a combination of plasma instability and global-scale magnetic field reconfiguration, which is initiated by plasma flows propagating toward the planet. Alternatively, the dawn auroral enhancement could be triggered by tail magnetic reconnection.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Additional Information:
An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2017 American Geophysical Union. Radioti, A., Grodent, D., Yao, Z. H., Gérard, J.-C., Badman, S. V., Pryor, W., & Bonfond, B. (2017). Dawn auroral breakup at Saturn initiated by auroral arcs: UVIS/Cassini beginning of Grand Finale phase. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122, 12,111–12,119. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JA024653
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ID Code:
89784
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Deposited On:
26 Feb 2018 14:48
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
27 Nov 2020 05:12