Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere

Loi, Shyeh Tjing ; Murphy, Tara ; Cairns, Iver H. ; Menk, Frederick W. ; Waters, Colin L. ; Erickson, Philip J. ; Trott, Cathryn M. ; Hurley-Walker, Natasha ; Morgan, John ; Lenc, Emil ; Offringa, André R. ; Bell, Martin E. ; Ekers, Ronald D. ; Gaensler, B. M. ; Lonsdale, Colin J. ; Feng, Lu ; Hancock, Paul J. ; Kaplan, David L. ; Bernardi, G. ; Bowman, J. D. ; Briggs, F. ; Cappallo, R. J. ; Deshpande, A. A. ; Greenhill, L. J. ; Hazelton, B. J. ; Johnston-Hollitt, M. ; McWhirter, S. R. ; Mitchell, D. A. ; Morales, M. F. ; Morgan, E. ; Oberoi, D. ; Ord, S. M. ; Prabu, T. ; Shankar, N. Udaya ; Srivani, K. S. ; Subrahmanyan, R. ; Tingay, S. J. ; Wayth, R. B. ; Webster, R. L. ; Williams, A. ; Williams, C. L. (2015) Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (10). pp. 3707-3714. ISSN 1944-8007

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Ionization of the Earth's atmosphere by sunlight forms a complex, multilayered plasma environment within the Earth's magnetosphere, the innermost layers being the ionosphere and plasmasphere. The plasmasphere is believed to be embedded with cylindrical density structures (ducts) aligned along the Earth's magnetic field, but direct evidence for these remains scarce. Here we report the first direct wide‐angle observation of an extensive array of field‐aligned ducts bridging the upper ionosphere and inner plasmasphere, using a novel ground‐based imaging technique. We establish their heights and motions by feature tracking and parallax analysis. The structures are strikingly organized, appearing as regularly spaced, alternating tubes of overdensities and underdensities strongly aligned with the Earth's magnetic field. These findings represent the first direct visual evidence for the existence of such structures.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Keywords:Murchison Widefield Array; Radio Telescope; Field Aligned; Whistler Duct; Ionosphere
ID Code:114314
Deposited On:22 May 2018 06:19
Last Modified:22 May 2018 06:19

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