Extended period of polar cap auroral display: auroral dynamics and relation to the IMF and the ionospheric convection
Abstract. An unusually extended period (5 h) of polar cap auroral display on 3 August 1986 is examined. Auroras have been investigated using ground-based data as well as measurements from the IMP-8 spacecraft in interplanetary space and simultaneous observations from the polar-orbiting satellites Viking and DE-1 in the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively. It is found that visible Sun-aligned arcs are located inside the transpolar band of the θ-aurora observed from the satellite in ultraviolet wavelengths. The transpolar band can contain several Sun-aligned arcs that move inside the band toward the morning or evening side of the auroral oval independent of the direction of the band movement. Intensifications of polar cap auroras with durations of up to about 30 min are observed. No change has been found in either IMF parameters or substorm activity that can be related to these intensifications. The θ-aurora occurred during a 2-h period when the B z-component of the IMF was negative. A tendency is noted for dawnward (duskward) displacement of the transpolar band when By>0 (By<0) in the southern hemisphere. Simultaneous observations of auroral ovals during interplanetary Bz<0, By<0 and Bx>0 in both hemispheres and convection patterns for Bz<0 and By<0 have been displayed using satellite and ground-based measurements. It was found that the transpolar band of the <theta>-aurora in the sunlit hemisphere was situated in the region of large-scale downward Birkeland currents.