Effects of the interplanetary magnetic field y component on the dayside aurora


A dawn\textendashdusk asymmetry in many high-latitude ionospheric and magnetospheric phenomena, including the aurora, can be linked to the east\textendashwest (y) component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Owing to the scarcity of observations in the Southern Hemisphere, most of the previous findings are associated with the Northern Hemisphere. It has long been suspected that if the IMF By component also produces a dawn\textendashdusk asymmetry and/or a mirror image in the Southern Hemisphere as predicted by some theories. The present study explores the effect of the IMF By component on the dayside aurora from both hemispheres by analyzing the auroral emission data from the Global UltraViolet scanning spectrograph Imager on board the Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics mission spacecraft from 2002 to 2007. The data set comprises 28,774 partial images of the northern hemispheric oval and 29,742 partial images of the southern hemispheric oval, allowing for a statistical analysis. It is found that even though auroras in different regions of the dayside oval respond differently to the orientation of the IMF By component, their responses are opposite between the two hemispheres. For example, at ~ 1400\textendash1600\ MLT in the Northern Hemisphere, where the so-called 1500\ MLT auroral hot spots occur, peak auroral energy flux is larger for negative IMF By comparing to positive IMF By. The response is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. The present study also suggests that the total energy flux does not change with the IMF By orientation change. This result is consistent with a larger (smaller) convection vortex in the postnoon sector for IMF By \< 0 (By \> 0) resulting from anti-parallel merging.

Year of Publication
Geoscience Letters
Date Published
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