09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Reconstruction of precipitating electrons and three-dimensional structure of a pulsating auroral patch from monochromatic auroral images obtained from multiple observation points

Mizuki Fukizawa1, Takeshi Sakanoi1, Yoshimasa Tanaka2,3,4, Yasunobu Ogawa2,3,4, Keisuke Hosokawa5, Björn Gustavsson6, Kirsti Kauristie7, Alexander Kozlovsky8, Tero Raita8, Urban Brändström9, and Tima Sergienko9 Mizuki Fukizawa et al.
  • 1Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, 980-8578, Japan
  • 2National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, 190-8518, Japan
  • 3Polar Environment Data Science Center, Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research, Research Organization of Information and Systems, Tachikawa, 190-0014, Japan
  • 4Department of Polar Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Tachikawa, 190-8518, Japan
  • 5Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, University of Electro‑Communications, Chofu, 182-8585, Japan
  • 6Institute for Physics and Technology, Arctic University of Norway UiT, Tromsø, 9037, Norway
  • 7Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, FI-00101, Finland
  • 8Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Oulu, FI-90014, Finland
  • 9IRF-Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, SE-981 28, Sweden

Abstract. In recent years, aurora observation networks using high-sensitivity cameras have been developed in the polar regions. These networks allow dimmer auroras such as pulsating auroras (PsAs) to be observed with a high signal-to-noise ratio. We reconstructed the horizontal distribution of precipitating electrons using computed tomography with monochromatic PsA images obtained from three observation points. The three-dimensional distribution of the volume emission rate (VER) of the PsA was also reconstructed. The characteristic energy of the reconstructed precipitating electron flux ranged from 6 keV to 23 keV, and the peak altitude of the reconstructed VER ranged from 90 to 104 km. We evaluated the results using a model aurora and compared the model’s electron density with the observed electron density. The electron density was reconstructed correctly to some extent, even after a decrease in PsA intensity. These results suggest that the horizontal distribution of precipitating electrons associated with PsAs can be effectively reconstructed from ground-based optical observations.

Mizuki Fukizawa et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on angeo-2022-5', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Mar 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Mizuki Fukizawa, 09 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on angeo-2022-5', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Apr 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Mizuki Fukizawa, 17 May 2022

Mizuki Fukizawa et al.

Mizuki Fukizawa et al.


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Short summary
Generation mechanism of pulsating auroras (PsAs) has been investigated by observing precipitating electrons by rockets or satellites. However, PsA intensity periodicities make it difficult for such observations to distinguish between temporal and spatial changes. In this study, we succeeded to reconstruct the horizontal distribution of electrons causing PsAs from auroral images obtained with high sensitivity cameras at three observation points using computed tomography for the first time.