Energy Characteristics of Auroral Electron Precipitation: A Comparison of Substorms and Pressure Pulse Related Auroral Activity
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.
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ABSTRACT: 1] On April 28 2001, simultaneous global images of electron and proton aurora were obtained by IMAGE-FUV following a sudden increase of solar wind dynamic pressure. The local time and intensity distribution of both types of precipitation are examined and compared. It is found that the electron and the proton precipitation both start in the post noon sector and expand concurrently, but the expansion into the nightside starts sooner for the protons than for the electrons. The characteristic rise time in the onset sector is on the order of 6 minutes. A distinct dynamics and morphology of electron and proton precipitation is observed in the nightside sector. DMSP electron measurements in the afternoon sector indicate that the shock has a significant effect on the electron spectral characteristics. It is suggested that the various Alfven frequencies generated by the shock account for the two different speeds of propagation of the disturbance.Geophys. Res. Lett. 01/2032; 30.
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ABSTRACT: We show that the auroral location depends on the IMF conditionsOur simulation results are consistent with these observationsResults suggest that the FACs play an important role in auroral brighteningJournal of Geophysical Research 01/2011; 116. · 3.17 Impact Factor