Studies Saturn’s aurorae

Studies Saturn’s aurorae

Aikaterini Radioti is a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Planetary Physics (LPAP) in the Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography (AGO) at the University of Liège.

Aikaterini Radioti was born in Ptolemaida, Greece, in 1980. She studied Physics in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and obtained her Ph.D. in Geophysics at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. During her Ph.D., she studied the magnetosphere of Jupiter by analyzing data from the Galileo spacecraft which was in orbit around the giant planet for eight years. In 2006, she joined the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Planetary Physics (LPAP), Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography (AGO) at the University of Liège, Belgium.

She is one of the Greek scientists involved in the mission of the NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which for almost 20 years has been collecting data for the study of Saturn and its rings, moons and magnetosphere. The Greek scientists participated in various stages of the mission, analyzing the valuable data provided by Cassini. Thanks to an ESA PRODEX contract, Aikaterini Radioti was able to go onto study Saturn’s aurorae, observed with the Cassini probe’s UVIS instrument.

“In recent years, I have been working mostly with Cassini’s UVIS images, which photograph the aurora. I am an official member of the UVIS group and have direct access to UVIS data. The study of the aurora helps us to understand Saturn’s interaction with his space environment. In particular, we study the magnetosphere particles that create the aurora and the interaction they have in Saturn’s atmosphere. We can also understand whether the magnetosphere of this enormous planet is affected by the solar wind or by internal processes. The great advantage of studying the aurora compared to other magnetospheric measurements is that by analyzing the data we have an idea of ​​what is happening precisely on the planet’s magnetosphere at this time and not on a single part of the magnetospere, on which the spacecraft is located. Prior to Cassini, the study of the aurora in Saturn had been limited to Hubble’s data, in which the angle and the resolution were not good enough to allow detailed studies of its structure and, by extension, the understanding of Saturn’s magnetosphere. Data from UVIS and Cassini changed the image we had until recently on Saturn’s aurora” she explained at

She has already received numerous prizes for her research, in particular the Prix Baron Nicolet awarded by the Académie Royale de Belgique in 2010, the Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Young Scientists in 2012, awarded by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), and the Prix des Amis de l’ULg in 2014.