Auroral Arcs Observed by Dmsp Satellites

  1. S.-I. Akasofu and
  2. J.R. Kan
  1. Ching-I. Meng

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM025p0067

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

How to Cite

Meng, C.-I. (1981) Auroral Arcs Observed by Dmsp Satellites, in Physics of Auroral Arc Formation (eds S.-I. Akasofu and J.R. Kan), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM025p0067

Author Information

  1. Applied Physics Laboratory, the Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland 20810

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1981

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900506

Online ISBN: 9781118664360



  • Auroras—Addresses, essays, lectures


This paper reports the electron precipitation characteristics of discrete auroras distributed over various parts of the polar region, based on the simultaneous optical auroral display observations and the electron precipitation measurements made by the DMSP series of satellites. It was found that all discrete arcs have a common feature, namely the existence of a peak in the electron differential energy spectra. The location of this spectral peak and the precipitated energy flux differs with the auroral brightness and geomagnetic activity. The precipitated energy flux varies from ∼10 erg cm−2 sec−1 −sr−1 for bright active arcs, ∼1–2 erg cm sec−1 sr−1 for normal quiet arcs to a fraction of 1 erg cm sec sr for faint arcs. The spectral peak is at ≳8 keV for bright active arcs, ∼3 keV for normal arcs and ≳1 keV for faint arcs.