12 Jan 2023
12 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ANGEO.

Parallel electric fields produced by the ionospheric injection

Osuke Saka Osuke Saka
  • Office Geophysik, Ogoori, 838-0141, Japan

Abstract. It is well known that there exists a thin layer in lower boundary of the ionosphere between altitudes of 80 km and 140 km in which collisional ions and collisionless electrons mix. Local breakdown of charge neutrality may be initiated in this layer by electric fields from the magnetosphere as well as by electric fields generated there by the local neutral winds. The breakdown may be momentarily canceled by the Pedersen currents, but a complete neutralization is prevented because some ionospheric plasmas are released as outflows by parallel electric fields. Those parallel electric fields are produced by inherent plasma processes in the polar ionosphere and act as auroral drivers in the topside ionosphere.

Osuke Saka

Status: open (until 03 Mar 2023)

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Osuke Saka

Osuke Saka


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Short summary
Transverse electric fields transmitted from the magnetosphere and those generated there by the neutral winds yield a local breakdown of the charge neutrality at the boundaries between thermosphere and mesosphere. The breakdown may create parallel electric fields in the thermosphere to produce spiral auroras and outflows. This explanation supposes an auroral generator located not in distant space but rather in our much nearer upper atmosphere.