X-Ray Images of an Auroral Break-Up

  1. S.-I. Akasofu and
  2. J.R. Kan
  1. Barry Mauk and
  2. George K. Parks

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM025p0129

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

How to Cite

Mauk, B. and Parks, G. K. (1981) X-Ray Images of an Auroral Break-Up, in Physics of Auroral Arc Formation (eds S.-I. Akasofu and J.R. Kan), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM025p0129

Author Information

  1. Geophysics AK-50, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195

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


X-ray images have been obtained by a newly developed X-ray pin-hole camera during auroral breakups. A sequence of X-ray images sampled during the initiation of an auroral breakup shows the presence of a 20-km spot-like event that had a relatively steep energy spectrum superimposed on a more energetic component that was spatially uniform. The very intense acceleration which was observed subsequent to the spot event appears to have been an intensification of the harder component. These X-ray characteristics are reminiscent of the behavior of electron distributions on the equator during dispersionless injection events. At the equator, cool beam-like and hot isotropic populations often appear in coordination with each other. We suggest that the energy and spatial structures within the X-ray images reflect the details of the dynamics corresponding to the equatorial particles travelling along the geomagnetic field.