Simultaneous Detection of Signatures of Conjugate Photoelectrons in the Ionosphere and Thermosphere
We investigate the impact of conjugate photoelectrons (CPEs) on the topside (∼600 km altitude) ionosphere at low and midlatitudes using measurements of the ion temperature, density, and composition from the first Republic of China satellite during a period of the high to moderate solar activity (March 1999 to June 2004). Elevated ion temperatures and densities are observed in the dark Northern American-Atlantic sector during the December solstice and in the Australian sector during the June solstice. The oxygen ion fraction and density are also elevated at these locations. These observations indicate that photoelectrons from the conjugate hemisphere heat the local ionospheric plasma. The morphology of the ion temperature in the winter hemisphere is well represented by the solar zenith angle in the sunlit conjugate hemisphere. The CPE hypothesis for the observed ionospheric heating is confirmed by coincident nighttime enhancements of the far ultraviolet airglow measured by the Global Ultraviolet Imager onboard the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics satellite.
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Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
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