Cross-Field Current Instabilities in Thin Ionization Layers and the Enhanced Aurora

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Nearly half of the time, auroral displays exhibit thin, bright layers known as \enhanced aurora." There is a substantial body of evidence that connects these displays with thin, dense, heavy ion layers in the E-region. Based on the spectral characteristics of the enhanced layers, it is believed that they result when wave-particle interaction heats ambient electrons to energies at or just above the 17 eV ionization energy of N2. While there are several possible instabilities that could produce suprathermal electrons in thin layers, there has been no clear theoretical investigation which examines in detail how wave instabilities in the thin ... continued below

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Okuda, Jay R. Johnson and Hideo May 20, 2008.

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Description

Nearly half of the time, auroral displays exhibit thin, bright layers known as \enhanced aurora." There is a substantial body of evidence that connects these displays with thin, dense, heavy ion layers in the E-region. Based on the spectral characteristics of the enhanced layers, it is believed that they result when wave-particle interaction heats ambient electrons to energies at or just above the 17 eV ionization energy of N2. While there are several possible instabilities that could produce suprathermal electrons in thin layers, there has been no clear theoretical investigation which examines in detail how wave instabilities in the thin ionization layers could develop and produce the suprathermal electrons. We examine instabilities which would occur in thin, dense, heavy ion layers using extensive analytical analysis combined with particle simulations. We analyze a cross field current instability that is found to be strongly unstable in the heavy ion layers. Electrostatic simulations show that substantial heating of the ambient electrons occurs with energization at or above the N2 ionization energy.

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979Kb

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  • Report No.: PPPL-4313
  • Grant Number: DE-ACO2-76CHO3073
  • DOI: 10.2172/959386 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 959386
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932198

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Creation Date

  • May 20, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 8:48 p.m.

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Okuda, Jay R. Johnson and Hideo. Cross-Field Current Instabilities in Thin Ionization Layers and the Enhanced Aurora, report, May 20, 2008; Princeton, New Jersey. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932198/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.