Kavli Affiliate: Peter G. Ford
| First 5 Authors: Anil Bhardwaj, Ronald F. Elsner, J. Hunter Waite Jr, G. Randall Gladstone, Thomas E. Cravens
Saturn was observed by Chandra ACIS-S on 20 and 26-27 January 2004 for one
full Saturn rotation (10.7 hr) at each epoch. We report here the first
observation of an X-ray flare from Saturn’s non-auroral (low-latitude) disk,
which is seen in direct response to an M6-class flare emanating from a sunspot
that was clearly visible from both Saturn and Earth. Saturn’s disk X-ray
emissions are found to be variable on time scales of hours to weeks to months,
and correlated with solar F10.7 cm flux. Unlike Jupiter, X-rays from Saturn’s
polar (auroral) region have characteristics similar to those from its disk.
This report, combined with earlier studies, establishes that disk X-ray
emissions of the giant planets Saturn and Jupiter are directly regulated by
processes happening on the Sun. We suggest that these emissions could be
monitored to study X-ray flaring from solar active regions when they are on the
far side and not visible to Near-Earth space weather satellites.
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