Radio Science

Bimodality in the climatological topside electron and exospheric temperature distributions at Arecibo

Authors

  • D. J. Meléndez-Alvira,

  • J. M. Picone,

  • O. A. Kelley,

  • Q. Zhou,

  • M. P. Sulzer


Abstract

We report on the local time, occurrence frequency, and solar activity variations of the measured electron temperature and the ratio of the electron to ion temperatures at 589 km, and the inferred exospheric neutral temperatures. The World Day measurements at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, were made between 1985 and 1995, spanning both solar maximum and minimum conditions during predominantly quiet geomagnetic conditions. Histograms of the electron and exospheric temperatures reveal bimodal distributions. The electron temperature bimodality is primarily due to the sharp difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures whereas the exospheric temperature bimodality is primarily due to the difference between high and low solar activity. The nighttime exosphere and the electrons at 589 km are hotter by up to 400 K during high solar activity than during low solar activity. The daytime electrons at 589 km are, however, colder after 0800 LT during high solar activity than during low solar activity. The daytime ratio of electron to ion temperatures is also lower at high solar activity but not until after 1000 LT on average. Unlike the electron temperature at 589 km, the distribution of the electron to ion temperatures is unimodal.

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