Article

Energy Characteristics of Auroral Electron Precipitation: A Comparison of Substorms and Pressure Pulse Related Auroral Activity

Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres (Impact Factor: 3.44). 02/2000; DOI: 10.1029/2000JA003027
Source: NTRS

ABSTRACT The Polar Ultraviolet Imager (UVI) observes auroral responses to incident solar wind pressure pulses and interplanetary shocks such as those associated with coronal mass ejections. The arrival of a CME pressure pulse at the front of the magnetosphere results in highly disturbed geomagnetic conditions and a substantial increase in both dayside and nightside auroral precipitation. Our observations show a simultaneous brightening over broad areas of the dayside and nightside aurora in response to a pressure pulse, indicating that more magnetospheric regions participate as sources for auroral precipitation than during isolated substorms. We estimate the average energies of incident auroral electrons using Polar UVI images and compare the precipitation energies during pressure pulse associated events to those during isolated auroral substorms. Electron precipitation during substorms has average energies greater than 10 keV and is structured both in local time and magnetic latitude. For auroral intensifications following the arrival of a pressure pulse or interplanetary shock, electron precipitation is less spatially structured and has greater ux of lower energy electrons (Eave _ 7 keV) than during isolated substorm, onsets. The average energies of the precipitating electrons inferred from UVI are consistent with those measured in-situ by the FAST spacecraft. These observations quantify the differences between global and local auroral precipitation processes and will provide a valuable experimental check for models of sudden storm commencements and magnetospheric response to perturbations in the solar wind.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
103 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: emissions observed in the far-ultraviolet wavelength range are compared with measurements of the coincident precipitating electrons and ions that produce the emissions in a large-scale correlative study. The auroral emissions and particle precipitation are observed with the Special Sensor Ultraviolet Spectrographic Imager and SSJ5 detectors, respectively, both onboard the DMSP F16 satellite. Coincident observations along the same magnetic field line in the Northern Hemisphere are assembled from two consecutive winters (during 2005-2007). A numerical fit to 27,922 coincident observations provides an empirical relationship between the electron energy flux and the intensity of Lyman-Birge-Hopfield long emissions, JEe = 4.90 ṡ108 (eV s-1 sr-1 cm-2)/R ILBHL (valid in the absence of significant ion fluxes: JEe > 10 JEion). A fit to 1308 coincident observations provides the relationship between the average electron energy and the Lyman-Birge-Hopfield short to Lyman-Birge-Hopfield long emission ratio, = 19.6 keV exp(-2.34 ILBHS / ILBHL) (valid from 3 to 19.6 keV). These resulting empirical relationships permit the energy flux and average energy of precipitating electrons to be inferred from far-ultraviolet imagery, in the absence of significant ion precipitation.
    Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres 03/2013; 118(3):1203-1209. · 3.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Far Ultraviolet Instrument (FUV) on the IMAGE spacecraft observes the aurora in three different channels. One of them (SI12) is sensitive to the signal from precipitating protons, while the other two (WIC and SI13) observe auroral emissions which are not only excited by precipitating electrons, but also by protons. We examine a period when in-situ particle measurements by the FAST spacecraft were available simultaneously with global imaging with FUV. The measured electron and proton energy spectra are used to calculate the auroral brightness along the FAST orbit. The comparison with the FUV/IMAGE observations shows good quantitative agreement and demonstrates that under certain circumstances high proton fluxes may produce significant amounts of auroral FUV emission.
    Geophysical Research Letters. 03/2001; 28(6).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: superposed epoch analysis is performed to investigate the relative impact of the solar wind/interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on geomagnetic activity, auroral hemispheric power, and auroral morphology during corotating interaction regions (CIRs) events between 2002 and 2007, when auroral images from Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics/Global Ultraviolet Imager were available. Four categories of CIRs have been compared. These were classified by the averaged IMF Bz and the time of maximum solar wind dynamic pressure around the CIR stream interface or onset time. It is found that during CIR events: (1) The peaks of auroral power and Kp were largely associated with dominant southward Bz, whereas auroral activity also became stronger with increases of solar wind speed, density, and dynamic pressure. (2) The percentage and absolute increases of auroral hemispheric power with solar wind speed were much greater under dominantly northward Bz conditions than under dominantly southward Bz conditions. (3) The enhancement of the auroral power and Kp with increasing solar wind speed followed the same pattern, for both dominantly southward and northward Bz conditions, regardless of the behavior of solar wind density and dynamic pressure. These results suggest that, during CIR events, southward Bz played the most critical role in determining geomagnetic and auroral activity, whereas solar wind speed was the next most important contributor. The solar wind dynamic pressure was the less important factor, as compared with Bz and solar wind speed. Relatively strong auroral precipitation energy flux (> ~3 mW/m2) occurred in a wider auroral oval region after the stream interface than before it for both dominantly northward and southward Bz conditions. These conditions enhanced the auroral hemispheric power after the stream interface. Intense auroral precipitation (> ~4 mW/m2) generally occurred widely at night under dominantly southward Bz conditions, but the location of this precipitation in the auroral oval was different when it was associated with different solar wind density and speed conditions.
    Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres 03/2013; 118(3):1255-1269. · 3.44 Impact Factor