Auroral Workshop generates U.S.-Finnish teamwork



Forty scientists from the United States and Finland met last spring at a workshop to develop collaborative studies of magnetospheric-ionospheric coupling and to synthesize multiple ground-based and space-based data sets.

The workshop also provided an opportunity to compare the output of new U.S. and Finnish Global Magnetohydrodynamic models with ground-based and satellite observations. Some of the missions and facilities that are providing new data within the United States and Finland include the Global Geospace Science/national Solar-Terrestrial Program Polar and Wind satellites, Interball, the Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, Ulysses, the Svalbard Radar, the new Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) station, digital all sky cameras, and the Magnetosphere Imager (MI) array in Finland. The workshop began with a discussion of dayside magnetospheric-ionospheric coupling. Dayside ionospheric transient signatures were divided into three types: auroral forms and convection velocity spikes, magnetic and convection events, and twin convection vortices. The three classes differ in size, location, repetition rates, and Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) dependencies. Scientists are addressing whether the transient classes are related, what the transients' role is compared to that of permanent cusp features, and how transients affect mag-netospheric energetics.