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See detailDiagnostics of the jovian aurora deduced from ultraviolet spectroscopy: Model and HST/GHRS observations
Dols, V.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULiege; Clarke, J. T. et al

in Icarus (2000), 147(1), 251-266

A model coupling an electron energy degradation code with a detailed synthetic spectrum of the H-2 Lyman and Werner band system is used to calculate the emerging auroral ultraviolet spectra from Jupiter's ... [more ▼]

A model coupling an electron energy degradation code with a detailed synthetic spectrum of the H-2 Lyman and Werner band system is used to calculate the emerging auroral ultraviolet spectra from Jupiter's atmosphere excited by electrons with different initial energy distributions. The atmospheric model is adapted from the vertical P-T profile measured by the Galileo probe and midlatitude model hydrocarbon photochemistry. Each altitude layer, with its own gas temperature, contributes to the emergent ultraviolet spectrum and the absorbers are vertically distributed within the source region of the auroral emissions. Examples of the calculated spectra are shown to validate the synthetic spectrum and to illustrate the importance of the electron energy distribution and the vertical structure. The model is then applied to the analysis of seven HST/GHRS spectra of the 1200-1700 Angstrom region obtained with 5-Angstrom resolution at various locations in the north and south Jovian aurora. These spectra have different color ratios which characterize the energy of the precipitated electrons, although they do not have a high enough spectral resolution to permit a determination of the H-2 temperature. We find that the characteristic energy of the assumed initial Maxwellian distribution ranges between 17 and 40 keV. A clear signature of acetylene absorption is observed near 1520, 1480, and 1440 Angstrom where the C2H2 cross section shows strong absorption peaks. The acetylene column abundance overlying the emission peak varies from 0.02 to 0.2 of the methane column. A better fit is obtained for some spectra when ethane absorption is added. The C2H6 column abundance varies from 0 to 0.5 of the methane column. These changes relative to methane are presumably the result of perturbations by heat released by the fast electron thermalization and/or perturbations to the hydrocarbon chemistry resulting from the production of H atoms by the aurora, A spectrum of the Io flux tube footprint and its trailing tail shows an ultraviolet color and hydrocarbon absorption quite similar to some of the main oval spectra, This observation suggests that the electrons of the Io flux tube are energized to a few tens of keV, similar to the electron precipitated in the main ovals and polar caps. Echelle spectra between 1216 and 1220 Angstrom at 0.07 Angstrom resolution are also compared with the model fitting best the mid-resolution spectra. It is found that the effective H-2 rovibrational temperature associated with the echelle spectra are significantly higher than predicted by the mid-latitude model. A large vertical temperature gradient just above the methane homopause due to large heating by auroral precipitation is a plausible explanation for this difference. (C) 2000 Academic Press. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 35 (5 ULiège)
See detailHST/STIS images of UV auroral footprints from Io, Europa, and Ganymede.
Clarke, J. T.; Ajello, J.; Ballester, G. E. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1999)

Ultraviolet images of Jupiter's aurora have been obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) since September 1997 with much higher sensitivity than ... [more ▼]

Ultraviolet images of Jupiter's aurora have been obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) since September 1997 with much higher sensitivity than earlier cameras. Higher sensitivity permits shorter exposures, freezing Jupiter's rotation and providing the highest angular resolution obtained to date. This combination of sensitivity and resolution has revealed new emissions from the magnetic footprints of Io, Europa, and Ganymede, which will be reported and discussed. Io's auroral footprint, while well studied with earlier cameras, appears highly extended at a low brightness in the wake or plasma flow direction. Ganymede's auroral footprint emission is now well established from the repeated appearance of this feature under the magnetic field trace of Ganymede, and there is initial evidence for auroral emission at Europa's magnetic footprint. Ganymede's auroral footprint appears consistently equatorward of the main auroral oval, which clearly constrains the main oval auroral currents to originate from beyond about 20 R_J. The observation that the main oval emissions are observed to corotate with Jupiter's magnetic field further constrains the origin of these currents to be within about 30 R_J, so that the source region for the main oval auroral is now fairly well constrained to a region in Jupiter's middle magnetosphere and within the current sheet. This work was supported by NASA under grant GO-7308.01-96A to the University of Michigan. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 41 (9 ULiège)
See detailHST/GHRS ultraviolet spectroscopy and model diagnostics of the Jovian aurora.
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULiege; Dols, V.; Gustin, Jacques ULiege et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1999)

A model coupling a detailed synthetic spectrum of the H_2 Lyman and Werner band systems with an electron energy degradation code is applied to the analysis of 7 GHRS spectra of the 1200-1700 { Angstroms ... [more ▼]

A model coupling a detailed synthetic spectrum of the H_2 Lyman and Werner band systems with an electron energy degradation code is applied to the analysis of 7 GHRS spectra of the 1200-1700 { Angstroms} region obtained with a ~ 5 { Angstroms} resolution at various locations in the north and south Jovian aurora. The observed color ratios indicate that the characteristic energy of the assumed initial Maxwellian distribution ranges between 17 and 40 keV. A clear signature of acetylene is observed near the absorption peaks at 1520, 1480 and 1440 { Angstroms}. The C_2H_2 column overlying the emission peak varies from 0.02 to 0.2 of the methane column. A better fit is obtained for some spectra when ethane absorption is added. The changing mixing ratios relative to methane are attributed to perturbations by heat released by the fast electron thermalization and/or perturbations to the hydrocarbon chemistry resulting from the production of H atoms by the aurora. A spectrum of the Io magnetic footprint and its trailing tail shows ultraviolet color and hydrocarbon absorption charateristics quite similar to some of the main oval spectra. This observation implies that the electrons of the Io flux tube are energized to a few tens of keV, similar to the electron precipitated in the main ovals and polar caps. Echelle spectra between 1216 and 1220 { Angstroms} at 0.07 { Angstroms} resolution are also compared with the model best fitting the closely spaced in time mid-resolution spectrum. It is found that the effective H_2 rovibrational temperature associated with the Echelle spectra is significantly higher than predicted by the model. A steep temperature gradient near the methane homopause due to large heating by auroral precipitation is a plausible explanation for this difference. We acknowledge funding by NASA and the PRODEX program of the European Space Agency. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Jovian Aurora: Implications of Multiwavelength Auroral Spectra for Auroral Particle Identity and Auroral Microphysics
Waite, J. H.; Gladstone, G. R.; Bolton, S. J. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1998, September 01)

Remote sensing of Jupiter's aurora from x-ray to radio wavelengths has revealed much about the nature of the jovian aurora and about the impact of ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling on Jupiter's upper ... [more ▼]

Remote sensing of Jupiter's aurora from x-ray to radio wavelengths has revealed much about the nature of the jovian aurora and about the impact of ionosphere-magnetosphere coupling on Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Both energetic heavy ions and electrons energized in the outer magnetosphere contribute to the auroral excitation, as indicated by the combination of x-ray and ultraviolet observations. Imaging with the HST in the ultraviolet and with the IRTF at infrared wavelengths reveals several distinct regions of interaction: 1) a dusk sector where turbulent auroral patterns extend well into the polar cap; 2) a morning sector generally characterized by a single spatially confined auroral arc originating in the outer magnetosphere of Jupiter; 3) diffuse emissions associated with the Io plasma torus; and 4) a distinct region associated with the Io Flux Tube footprint. Ultraviolet spectroscopy has provided important information about the thermal structure of the upper atmosphere and altitude distribution of the auroral particle energy deposition, while Lyman alpha line profiles offer clues to the nature of thermospheric dynamical effects. Galileo observations at visible wavelengths on the nightside have provided a new view of the jovian aurora with unprecedented spatial information. Infrared observations have added much to the understanding of thermal structure and morphology and may hold the key to understanding the role of Joule heating. Radio observations imply that energetic particle precipitation extends to low latitudes, a result that has been corroborated at x-ray wavelengths. Multispectral observations of jovian auroral emissions will be discussed within a theoretical/modeling framework that serves to provide some insight into magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and its effect on the upper atmosphere. Particular emphasis will be placed on the use of auroral spectra to identify incident energetic particles and their energy spectra as a means of elucidating the microphysics of auroral processes. [less ▲]

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See detailHST-STIS Observations of Jupiter's Aurora
Clarke, J. T.; Ajello, J.; Ballester, G. E. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1998, September 01)

HST observations of the UV emissions from Jupiter's aurora have been obtained with the new Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) since July 1997. UV images of the aurora are now possible with an ... [more ▼]

HST observations of the UV emissions from Jupiter's aurora have been obtained with the new Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) since July 1997. UV images of the aurora are now possible with an order of magnitude higher sensitivity than possible with earlier cameras, and improved angular resolution from shorter exposures. Images have been obtained at 4 epochs since Sept. 1997, and reveal several new features of the auroral emission pattern. These include i) faint auroral emissions extending roughly 60 deg. in the wake or plasma flow direction beyond Io's magnetic footprint, ii) systematic motions of the main auroral oval both toward the pole and toward the equator at different local times and longitudes, and iii) clear identification of an auroral emission feature with Ganymede's magnetic footprint, from the relative motion of the feature remaining underneath Ganymede in a time series of images. Preliminary interpretations of these features will be presented. Spectra have also been obtained of auroral emission features including the northern and southern main ovals, the diffuse emission poleward of the main oval, and the northern and southern Io footprints. These spectra will be presented with estimates of the overlying hydrocarbon columns, the energy of the exciting electrons, the rotational temperature of the emitting hydrogen, and the overlying column of atomic hydrogen. This work was supported by NASA under grants GO-6743.01-95A and GO-7308.01-96A to the University of Michigan. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (1 ULiège)
See detailFUV spectroscopy of the H_2 emission in the Jovian aurora: model update and results
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULiege; Dols, V.; Colignon, David ULiege et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1998, September 01)

The Jovian aurora exhibits bright emissions mainly due the bright Lyman-alpha line and to radiation from excited singlet states to the ground electronic state extending from 800 to 1600 Angstroms. Above ... [more ▼]

The Jovian aurora exhibits bright emissions mainly due the bright Lyman-alpha line and to radiation from excited singlet states to the ground electronic state extending from 800 to 1600 Angstroms. Above 1200 Angstroms, the molecular spectrum is dominated by the Lyman (B-X) bands and continuum and the Werner (C-X) bands. These transitions have been observed with the Goddard High Resolution Spectrometer (GHRS) and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrometer (STIS) at various spectral and spatial resolutions. To analyze these spectra, a model synthetic auroral spectrum has been constructed and applied to the analysis of the ro-vibrational temperature of H_2 and a search for non-H_2 emission features. It has been recently updated to include the latest singlet state excitation and cascading cross sections, self-absorption in optically thick lines and to account for the energy distribution of the secondary electrons which cause additional excitation. We illustrate these effects in a few study cases and apply the model to high resolution (0.5 Angstroms) GHRS spectra and low resolution STIS spectra of the entire H_2 spectrum at wavelengths longer than Lyman-alpha. We determine the methane column overlying the auroral emission peak and find that a better fit is obtained with additional absorption by acetylene. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 30 (4 ULiège)
See detailObservation of short and long timescale variability of the jovian UV aurora
Grodent, Denis ULiege; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULiege; Dols, V. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1998, September 01)

Three sets of Hubble Space Telescope far-ultraviolet images of Jupiter's North pole aurora have been obtained with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in June 1996, May 1997 and August 1997. The ... [more ▼]

Three sets of Hubble Space Telescope far-ultraviolet images of Jupiter's North pole aurora have been obtained with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in June 1996, May 1997 and August 1997. The exposure time was limited to 160 seconds in order to reveal short timescale auroral features that are normally averaged during longer exposures and blurred by the rapid jovian rotation. The 3 sets of images show the aurora in a comparable (quiet) activity level, exhibiting long term persistent features such as : (i) a stable thin morning arc, (ii) a morning-afternoon emission dichotomy, (iii) a minimum of low latitude emission around CML=175 deg, (iv) bright localized afternoon structures. The equatorward boundary of the arc closely follows but is not coincident with the footprint of the 20 RJ magnetic field line given by the VIP4 model. These stable structures contrast with rapidly changing features like small size spots blasting in one single image, bright regions connecting trans-auroral structures, and the inner diffuse emission. The question of temporal variability and spatial extent of the auroral features is of major importance in understanding the origin and acceleration mechanisms of the auroral particles exciting the jovian UV aurora. In particular, short timescale processes can be related to field aligned currents generating acceleration structures and discrete aurora. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 13 (1 ULiège)
See detailHST Observations of Jupiter's Aurora Simultaneous with GALILEO Measurements
Clarke, J. T.; Ballester, G.; Trauger, J. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1997, July 01)

An HST observing program is underway to obtain images and spectra of Jupiter's ultraviolet aurora during key events in the GALILEO orbiter mission, including remote observations of the nightside aurora ... [more ▼]

An HST observing program is underway to obtain images and spectra of Jupiter's ultraviolet aurora during key events in the GALILEO orbiter mission, including remote observations of the nightside aurora and measurements of the magnetic field and charged particle environments. We have obtained WFPC 2 images and GHRS spectra of Jupiter's aurora overlapping with GALILEO measurements during GALILEO orbits G1 (June 1996), G2 (Sept. 1996), G7 (April 1997), and G8 (May 1997), and at the time of writing we are scheduling STIS spectra for summer 1997. The WFPC 2 images appear similar to earlier reported auroral images, with the main oval at the same location observed over the last 2 years, rapidly variable emission poleward of the main oval, and the Io footprint with a similar longitudinal offset from the local magnetic field. Spectra were obtained of auroral emission features including the northern and southern main ovals, the diffuse emission poleward of the main oval, and the northern and southern Io footprints. These spectra will be presented with estimates of the overlying hydrocarbon columns, the energy of the exciting electrons, the rotational temperature of the emitting hydrogen, and the overlying column of atomic hydrogen. This work was supported by NASA under contract JPL 959122 and grants GO-5828.01-94A and GO-6743.01-95A to the University of Michigan. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 22 (1 ULiège)
See detailObservations of short time scale variability of the Jovian UV aurora and simulation of morphological patterns
Gérard, Jean-Claude ULiege; Grodent, Denis ULiege; Dols, V. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1997, July 01)

A database of far ultraviolet auroral images collected with the Faint Object Camera and Wide Field Planetary Camera (WFPC2) on board the Hubble Space Telescope has been constructed over the last five ... [more ▼]

A database of far ultraviolet auroral images collected with the Faint Object Camera and Wide Field Planetary Camera (WFPC2) on board the Hubble Space Telescope has been constructed over the last five years. Some morphological features are recurrent but significant time variations are also observed. A set of WFPC2 images obtained in May 1997 shows that, within a relatively stable general morphology, variations occur inside the polar cap in 4 minutes or less, implying short timescale acceleration processes. A model simulating Earth view of auroral arcs and diffuse emissions in the north polar region has been developed. Simple geometric cases are described to illustrate the dependence on the altitude, atmospheric scale height and central meridian planetary longitude of an idealized auroral morphology seen from Earth orbit. The numerical simulation makes it possible to assess the importance of limb brightening and the contribution from high altitude auroral emission located behind the planetary limb. As an application, four images obtained with WFPC2 are used to determine the characteristics of their auroral (discrete and diffuse) structures. The apparent brightness distribution along the arcs may only be reproduced if intrinsic longitudinal (or local time) variations are introduced, in addition to the path length effects of the viewing geometry. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 6 (1 ULiège)
Peer Reviewed
See detailHubble Space Telescope far-ultraviolet imaging of Jupiter during the impacts of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
Clarke, J. T.; Prange, R.; Ballester, G. E. et al

in Highlights of Astronomy, Vol. 10 (1995)

Detailed reference viewed: 25 (4 ULiège)
See detailAuroral Signature of the Interaction of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with the Jovian Magnetosphere
Prangé; Emerich, C.; Rego, D. et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1994, June 01)

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (1 ULiège)