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Effect of an Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection on Saturn’s Radio Emission

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journal contribution
posted on 04.08.2022, 10:57 authored by B Cecconi, O Witasse, CM Jackman, B Sánchez-Cano, ML Mays
The Saturn Kilometric Radiation (SKR) was observed for the first time during the flyby of Saturn by the Voyager spacecraft in 1980. These radio emissions, in the range of a few kHz to 1 MHz, are emitted by electrons travelling around auroral magnetic field lines. Their study is useful to understand the variability of a magnetosphere and its coupling with the solar wind. Previous studies have shown a strong correlation between the solar wind dynamic pressure and the SKR intensity. However, up to now, the effect of an Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejection (ICME) has never been examined in detail, due to the lack of SKR observations at the time when an ICME can be tracked and its different parts be clearly identified. In this study, we take advantage of a large ICME that reached Saturn mid-November 2014 (Witasse et al., J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 2017, 122, 7865–7890). At that time, the Cassini spacecraft was fortunately travelling within the solar wind for a few days, and provided a very accurate timing of the ICME structure. A survey of the Cassini data for the same period indicated a significant increase in the SKR emissions, showing a good correlation after the passage of the ICME shock with a delay of ∼13 h and after the magnetic cloud passage with a delay of 25–42 h.


Observatoire de Paris, CNRS/INSU (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut des Sciences de l’Univers) and CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales)

ESA (European Space Agency)

Science Foundation Ireland Grant 18/FRL/6199

UK-STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship ST/V004115/1 and STFC grants ST/S000429/1, ST/W00089X/1


Author affiliation

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester


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Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences




Frontiers Media SA



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