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Identifying the Driver of Pulsating Aurora
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2010 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, Vol. 330, no 6000, 81-84 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pulsating aurora, a spectacular emission that appears as blinking of the upper atmosphere in the polar regions, is known to be excited by modulated, downward-streaming electrons. Despite its distinctive feature, identifying the driver of the electron precipitation has been a long-standing problem. Using coordinated satellite and ground-based all-sky imager observations from the THEMIS mission, we provide direct evidence that a naturally occurring electromagnetic wave, lower-band chorus, can drive pulsating aurora. Because the waves at a given equatorial location in space correlate with a single pulsating auroral patch in the upper atmosphere, our findings can also be used to constrain magnetic field models with much higher accuracy than has previously been possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 330, no 6000, 81-84 p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-147257DOI: 10.1126/science.1193186ISI: 000282334500038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-147257DiVA: diva2:400248
Available from: 2011-02-25 Created: 2011-02-24 Last updated: 2011-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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