Various subauroral optical features have been studied by analyzing data collected during periods of geomagnetic disturbances. Most events have been typically found at geomagnetic latitudes of 45–60°. In this study, however, we present a red arc event found at geomagnetic 68° north (L ≈ 7.1) in the Scandinavian sector during a period of geomagnetically quiet conditions within a short intermission between two high-speed solar wind events. The red arc appeared to coincide with a pseudo breakup at geomagnetic 71–72°N and a rapid equatorward expansion of the polar cap. However, the red arc disappeared in approximately 7 min. Simultaneous measurements with the Swarm A/C satellites indicated the appearance of the red arc at the ionospheric trough minimum and a conspicuous enhancement of the electron temperature, suggesting the generation of the arc by heat flux. Since there are meaningful differences in the red arc features from already-known subauroral optical features such as the stable auroral red (SAR) arc, we considered that the red arc is a new phenomenon. We suggest that the ephemeral red arc may represent the moment of SAR arc birth associated with substorm particle injection, which is generally masked by bright dynamic aurorae.
- SAR arc