Fine scale structures of pulsating auroras in the early recovery phase of substorm using ground-based EMCCD camera

Takanori Nishiyama, Takeshi Sakanoi, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Ryuho Kataoka, Donald Hampton, Yuto Katoh, Kazushi Asamura, Shoichi Okano

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15 Citations (Scopus)


[1] We have carried out ground-based observations, optimized to temporal and spatial characteristics of pulsating auroras (PAs) in the micro/meso scale, using an electron multiplying charge coupled device (EMCCD) camera with a wide field of view corresponding to 100 × 100 km at an altitude of 110 km and a high sampling rate up to 100 frames per second. We focus on transient PAs propagating southward around 1100 UT, in the early recovery phase of the substorm, on 4th March 2011. Three independent patches (PA1-3) each with different periods between 4 and 7 s were observed, which means that the periodicity was not explained by the electron bounce motion and strongly depended on local plasma conditions in the magnetosphere or in the ionosphere. One more insight is that only PA1 had also a sharp peak of modulations around 1.5 Hz, with a narrow frequency width of 0.30 Hz, and the strong modulations existed as a small spot in the center of PA1. We have also conducted cross spectrum analysis and have obtained coherence and phase distributions for auroral variations between 0.1 and 3.0 Hz. The results indicated that low frequency variations from 0.2 to 0.5 Hz inside PA1-3 propagated as a collective motion in well-defined directions. The estimated horizontal propagation velocities ranged from 50 to 120 km/s at the auroral altitude. The velocities are almost consistent with the Alfven speed at the magnetic equator, which suggests that compressional waves have an effect on PA via modulations of the ambient plasma environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA10229
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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