Formation of Auroral Arcs and Inverted V Precipitations: An Overview

  1. S.-I. Akasofu and
  2. J.R. Kan
  1. J. R. Kan and
  2. L. C. Lee

Published Online: 26 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM025p0206

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

Physics of Auroral Arc Formation

How to Cite

Kan, J. R. and Lee, L. C. (1981) Formation of Auroral Arcs and Inverted V Precipitations: An Overview, in Physics of Auroral Arc Formation (eds S.-I. Akasofu and J.R. Kan), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM025p0206

Author Information

  1. Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900506

Online ISBN: 9781118664360

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Keywords:

  • Auroras—Addresses, essays, lectures

Summary

Recent theoretical developments on the formation of discrete auroras are reviewed to assess the progress of our understanding of discrete auroral phenomenon. In spite of the great complexity involved, a unified physical picture begins to emerge in which the roles of various auroral acceleration processes can be identified in the context of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling. Potential drops for the formation of inverted V precipitations are supported predominantly by a combination of double layer and pitch-angle anisotropy processes. Additional electron energizations for the formation of thin auroral arcs are most likely due to filamentations of electrostatic ion cyclotron turbulence along the inverted V field lines. The discrete auroras can be understood as a manifestation of the imperfect coupling state of the magnetosphere-ionosphere interaction due to enhanced magnetospheric convection.