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Title: Meridian-scanning photometer, coherent HF radar, and magnetometer observations of the cusp: a case study
Authors: Milan, Stephen E.
Lester, Mark
Cowley, S. W. H.
Moen, J.
Sandholt, P. E.
Owen, C. J.
First Published: 1-Feb-1999
Publisher: European Geosciences Union (EGU), Copernicus Publications, Springer Verlag (Germany)
Abstract: The dynamics of the cusp region and post-noon sector for an interval of predominantly IMF By, Bz < 0 nT are studied with the CUTLASS Finland coherent HF radar, a meridian-scanning photometer located at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard, and a meridional network of magnetometers. The scanning mode of the radar is such that one beam is sampled every 14 s, and a 30° azimuthal sweep is completed every 2 minutes, all at 15 km range resolution. Both the radar backscatter and red line (630 nm) optical observations are closely co-located, especially at their equatorward boundary. The optical and radar aurora reveal three different behaviours which can interchange on the scale of minutes, and which are believed to be related to the dynamic nature of energy and momentum transfer from the solar wind to the magnetosphere through transient dayside reconnection. Two interpretations of the observations are presented, based upon the assumed location of the open/closed field line boundary (OCFLB). In the first, the OCFLB is co-located with equatorward boundary of the optical and radar aurora, placing most of the observations on open field lines. In the second, the observed aurora are interpreted as the ionospheric footprint of the region 1 current system, and the OCFLB is placed near the poleward edge of the radar backscatter and visible aurora; in this interpretation, most of the observations are placed on closed field lines, though transient brightenings of the optical aurora occur on open field lines. The observations reveal several transient features, including poleward and equatorward steps in the observed boundaries, "braiding" of the backscatter power, and 2 minute quasi-periodic enhancements of the plasma drift and optical intensity, predominantly on closed field lines.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s005850050746
ISSN: 0992-7689
eISSN: 1432-0576
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. © European Geosciences Union 1999. Version of record:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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