Geophysical Research Letters

Local increases in auroral electron precipitation which were not accompanied by a corresponding increase in the electric potential of the auroral electron acceleration region

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Abstract

The Oedipus C rocket that was launched from Poker Flats, Alaska in November 1995 has detected significant local increases in the observed auroral electron precipitation flux during an auroral substorm which were not accompanied by a corresponding increase in the electric potential of the auroral electron acceleration region. The energy of the electrons which contributed to these increases in flux were also found to extend well below the electric potential energy of these electrons at the top of the acceleration region, thereby requiring a related loss in energy inside the acceleration region. This loss in energy must therefore be attributed to a wave instability which extracts energy from the electrons which are scattered into the loss cone inside the electron acceleration region to cause the discrete aurora during a substorm.

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