Auroral signature of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in the jovian magnetosphere

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Science  03 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5202, pp. 1317-1320
DOI: 10.1126/science.7871430


The electrodynamic interaction of the dust and gas comae of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with the jovian magnetosphere was unique and different from the atmospheric effects. Early theoretical predictions of auroral-type processes on the comet magnetic field line and advanced modeling of the time-varying morphology of these lines allowed dedicated observations with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and resulted in the detection of a bright auroral spot. In that respect, this observation of the surface signature of an externally triggered auroral process can be considered as a "magnetospheric active experiment" on Jupiter.