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Ionosphere-thermosphere (IT) response to solar wind forcing during magnetic storms

AuthorHuang, Cheryl; Huang, Yanshi; Su, Yi-Jiun; Sutton, Eric; Hairston, Marc; Coley, William;
KeywordsEnergy distribution; Ionosphere; polar cap; solar wind; thermosphere

During magnetic storms, there is a strong response in the ionosphere and thermosphere which occurs at polar latitudes. Energy input in the form of Poynting flux and energetic particle precipitation, and energy output in the form of heated ions and neutrals have been detected at different altitudes and all local times. We have analyzed a number of storms, using satellite data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE), and Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission. Poynting flux measured by instruments on four DMSP spacecraft during storms which occurred in 2011\textendash2012 was observed in both hemispheres to peak at both auroral and polar latitudes. By contrast, the measured ion temperatures at DMSP and maxima in neutral density at GOCE and GRACE altitudes maximize in the polar region most frequently with little evidence of Joule heating at auroral latitudes at these spacecraft orbital locations.

Year of Publication2016
JournalJournal of Space Weather and Space Climate
Number of PagesA4
Date Published01/2016