Physical processes of meso-scale, dynamic auroral forms

Meso-scale auroral forms, such as poleward boundary intensifications, streamers, omega bands, beads and giant undulations, are manifestations of dynamic processes in the magnetosphere driven, to a large part, by plasma instabilities in the magnetotail. New observations from ground- and space-based instrumentation and theoretical treatments are giving us a clearer view of some of the physical processes behind these auroral forms. However, questions remain as to how some of these observations should be interpreted, given uncertainties in mapping auroral features to locations in the magnetotatil and due to the significant overlap in the results from a variety of models of different plasma instabilities. We provide an overview of recent results in the field and seek to clarify some of the remaining questions with regards to what drives some of the largest and most dynamic auroral forms.
Year of Publication
Space Science Reviews
Number of Pages
Download citation