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IUE detection of bursts of H Ly-alpha emission from SaturnA new investigation is reported of the potential sources of Ly-alpha emission in a series of observations of the Saturnian system carried out between January and July 1980 using the short wavelength spectrograph of the IUE Observatory. It is noted that north-south maps of the Ly-alpha emission across the planet disk show pronounced spatial asymmetries in emission brightness. These asymmetries vary to a marked extent on a time scale of days and are interpreted as bursts of Ly-alpha emission of as much as 1 kR brightness averaged over a 6 x 10 arcsec area, above a constant planetary emission level of 700-800 R. In fact, the Ly-alpha emission peaks manifest themselves as essentially point source features in these data; it is pointed out that if the emitting region is smaller than the 6 x 10 arcsec instrumental resolution, the surface brightness must be proportionally higher.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Clarke, J. T.
(Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Md., United States)
Moos, H. W.
(Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Md.; Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics; Colorado, University, Boulder, Colo., United States)
Atreya, S. K.
(Michigan, University Ann Arbor, Mich., United States)
Lane, A. L.
(California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
March 19, 1981
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 290
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
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