The effect of the impact of comet Shoemaker Levy‐9 on Jupiter's aurorae

S. Miller, N. Achilleos, B. M. Dinelli, H. A. Lam, J. Tennyson, M. ‐F Jagod, T. R. Geballe, L. M. Trafton, R. D. Joseph, G. E. Ballester, K. Baines, T. Y. Brooke, G. Orton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We present infrared spectra and images of the jovian aurorae taken at wavelengths sensitive to the H3+ molecular ion during the period around the impact of Comet Shoemaker Levy‐9. The spectra were obtained using CGS4 on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and the images using NSFcam on NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility. Comparison with spectra obtained in May, 1993, shows that while the relative intensities of the northern and southern auroral zones prior to and during impact week (July 16–22, 1994) were broadly comparable with those of 1993, a few days after the last collision the northern aurora was considerably enhanced and its southern counterpart somewhat depressed. The north/south auroral ratio was returning to more normal values a week later. The effect of material drifting from the impact sites to the southern auroral zone is discussed in relation to these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1629-1632
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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