Quiet, Discrete Auroral Arcs: Acceleration Mechanisms
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One of the longstanding questions of space science is: How does the Earth’s magnetosphere generate auroral arcs? A related question is: What form of energy is extracted from the magnetosphere to drive auroral arcs? Not knowing the answers to these questions hinders our ability to determine the impact of auroral arcs on the magnetospheric system. Magnetospheric mechanisms for driving quiescent auroral arcs are reviewed. Two types of quiescent arcs are (1) low-latitude non-Alfvénic (growth-phase) arcs magnetically connecting to the electron plasma sheet and (2) high-latitude arcs magnetically connecting near the plasma-sheet boundary layer. The reviews of the magnetospheric generator mechanisms are separated for the two types of quiescent arcs. The driving of auroral-arc currents in large-scale computer simulations is examined. Predicted observables in the magnetosphere and in the ionosphere are compiled for the various generator mechanisms.
CitationLysak, R.; Echim, M.; Karlsson, T.; Marghitu, O.; Rankin, R.; Song, Y.; Watanabe, T.-H. (2020). Quiet, Discrete Auroral Arcs: Acceleration Mechanisms. , Space Science Reviews, Vol. 216, Issue 5, A92, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-020-00715-5.