NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Two-dimensional quasi-neutral description of particles and fields above discrete auroral arcsModels are presented for particle distributions, electric fields and currents in an adiabatic treatment of auroral electrostatic potential distributions in order to describe the quiet-time evening auroral arcs featuring both upward and return currents. The models are consistent with current continuity and charge balance requirements for particle populations controlled by adiabatic invariants and quasi-neutrality in the magnetosphere. The effective energy of the cool electron population is demonstrated to have a significant effect on the latitudinal breadth of the auroral electrostatic potential structure and the extent of the penetration of the accelerating potential into the ionosphere. Another finding is that the energy of any parallel potential drop in the lowest few thousand kilometers of the field line is of the same order of magnitude as the thermal energy of the cool electrons. Additional predictions include density cavities along field lines that support large potential drops, and density enhancements along field lines at the edge of an inverted V with a small potential drop.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Newman, A. L. (Aerospace Corp. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Chiu, Y. T. (Aerospace Corp. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Cornwall, J. M. (Aerospace Corp. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1986
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 91
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits