In brief

In brief

Planetary aurorae are powerful emissions radiated from the auroral regions of magnetized planets by accelerated charged particles, in a wide range of wavelengths, from radio to X-rays. The UV range in particular is adapted to measure collisionaly excited transitions of H and H2, the dominant species in the upper atmosphere of giant planets, produced by precipitating auroral particles. It additionally benefits a good angular resolution.

Auroral UV observations therefore provide a wealth of informations on planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres. They also offer a unique diagnostic to remotely probe the solar wind activity throughout the heliosphere.

Among the space-based UV observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) intensively observed the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus) in the Far-UV (FUV) from 1993 up to now, providing thousands of images and spectra, often in the frame of combined observations with spacecraft dedicated to planetary exploration (Galileo orbiting Jupiter over 1995-2003, Cassini flyby of Jupiter in 2000, Cassini orbiting Saturn since 2004, New Horizons flyby of Jupiter in 2007) or Earth-based observatories (radio, IR, X-rays). These observations now form a rich database, of interest for a a wide community, but whose use remains limited by the difficulty to access and use such observations.

The Auroral Planetary Imaging and Spectroscopy (APIS) service aims at providing a free and simple access to a database of high-level auroral data, built from the STSci archive of HST observations, in convenient formats (fits, jpg, pdf), and compatible with virtual observatory (VO) facilities. It is fully described in a dedicated publication.

Forfuitously, the bull APIS is also the ancient egyptian god of fertilization, wearing an active solar disc between the horns.