Saturn's elusive nightside polar arc


Radioti, A., Grodent, D., Gérard, J.-C., Milan, S.E., Fear, R.C., Jackman, C.M., Bonfond, B. and Pryor, W. (2014) Saturn's elusive nightside polar arc Geophysical Research Letters, 41, (18), pp. 6321-6328. (doi:10.1002/2014GL061081).

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Description/Abstract

Nightside polar arcs are some of the most puzzling auroral emissions at Earth. They are features which extend from the nightside auroral oval into the open magnetic field line region (polar cap), and they represent optical signatures of magnetotail dynamics. Here we report the first observation of an arc at Saturn, which is attached at the nightside main oval and extends into the polar cap region, resembling a terrestrial transpolar arc. We show that Earth-like polar arcs can exceptionally occur in a fast rotational and internally influenced magnetosphere such as Saturn's. Finally, we discuss the possibility that the polar arc at Saturn is related to tail reconnection and we address the role of solar wind in the magnetotail dynamics at Saturn.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/2014GL061081
ISSNs: 0094-8276 (print)
Organisations: Astronomy Group
ePrint ID: 394168
Date :
Date Event
8 September 2014Accepted/In Press
24 September 2014Published
Date Deposited: 12 May 2016 10:46
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 10:32
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394168

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