Longitudinal variations of electron temperature and total ion density in the sunset equatorial topside ionosphere

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Abstract

[1] Based on the DMSP F13 Satellite observations from 1995 to 2005, the longitudinal distributions of the electron temperature (Te) and total ion density (Ni) in the sunset equatorial topside ionosphere are examined. The results suggest that the longitudinal variations of both Te and Ni exhibit obvious seasonal dependence as follows: (1) wavenumber-four longitudinal structure in equinox, (2) three peaks structure in June solstice, and (3) two peaks structure in December solstice. Moreover, the longitudinal variations of Te and Ni show significant anti-correlation, and we speculate that the longitudinal variation of Te may result from that of Ni which can control Te through the electron cooling rate. The wavenumber-four longitudinal structures of both Te and Ni in equinox may relate to the eastward propagating zonal wavenumber-3 diurnal tide (DE3), which has effect on the amplitude of the daytime zonal electric field. The longitudinal variation of Te and Ni in the two solstices may be caused both by longitudinal variation of geomagnetic declination and DE3.

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