Complicated variations of the upper atmosphere near a breakup aurora - Eos Research Spotlight


Auroral morphological and brightness change is regulated by a sequence involving sudden explosive illumination, which is known as auroral substorm onset.  The onset triggers energy flow from the magnetosphere to the polar ionosphere, and its dissipation modulates the upper atmosphere.  One of the outstanding question in this field is How much area does receive the energy and How does the upper atmosphere change by the energy input.  A coordinated experiment (DELTA-2) was made with a sounding rocket, the European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar, a Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI), and optical cameras in Norway in January 2009.  We published the result in the JGR Space Physics (Oyama et al., 2017), and it was chosen as an article of the Eos Research Spotlight.

Credit: National Institute of Polar Research, Japan