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Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph Observations of Europa’s Optical Aurora

Presentation #314.05 in the session Icy Satellites, Fields and Particles (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph Observations of Europa’s Optical Aurora

Analysis of Europa’s optical aurora offers further insight into its tenuous atmosphere’s composition and plasma-interaction variability. Such observations have been carried out by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and are reported in this study. These observations of auroral activity were obtained while Europa was in solar eclipse behind Jupiter to avoid the reflected sunlight background signals. The main focus of this study is to analyze the oxygen 630 nm and 636.4 nm emission line brightness profiles across the disk to help constrain O2 abundances. Further analysis of the ratio between these brightnesses across different regions of Europa with time are compared to previous auroral studies in the ultraviolet (e.g., Roth et al. 2016) and in the visible (de Kleer and Brown, 2018). These results serve as a comparison to previous optical and ultraviolet auroral studies at Europa using HST to study the moon-plasma interaction at Europa.

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