Accession Number:

ADA058090

Title:

Electron Precipitations and Polar Auroras,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

CALIFORNIA UNIV BERKELEY SPACE SCIENCES LAB

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1978-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

134.0

Abstract:

In the first part a brief historical review of the progress of our knowledge of the precipitation of auroral electrons is given. Observations by different techniques, in terms of detectors aboard balloons, sounding rockets, and polar-orbiting satellites are reviewed. The precipitation morphology is examined in terms of synoptic statistical results and of latitudinal survey along individual satellite passes. In the second part, a large number of simultaneous observations of auroras and precipitating auroral electrons by DMSP satellites are examined in detail, and it is shown that precipitation characteristics of auroral electrons are distinctly different for the discrete aurora and the diffuse aurora. In the third part, the source region of auroral electrons is discussed by comparing the auroral electron precipitation at low altitudes observed by DMSP satellites with the simultaneous ATS-6 observations near the magnetospheric equatorial plane approximately along the same geomagnetic field line. It is shown that the diffuse aurora is caused by direct dumping of the plasma sheet electrons from the equatorial region, whereas discrete auroras require acceleration of electrons between the plasma sheet and the polar atmosphere. The parallel electric field along the geomagnetic field line above the ionosphere is a likely candidate for the acceleration mechanism. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Atmospheric Physics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE