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Title: Fine‐Scale Structures of STEVE Revealed by 4K Imaging
Abstract

We utilized a 4K imaging to examine properties of fine‐scale structures of Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE) near the magnetic zenith. Its high spatial (0.09 km at 200 km altitude) and temporal (24 Hz) resolution provided unprecedented details of fine‐scale structures in the subauroral ionosphere. Although the STEVE emission was seen as a homogeneous purple/mauve arc in the all‐sky images, the high‐speed imaging revealed that STEVE contained substantial multi‐scale structures. The characteristic wavelength and period were 12.4 ± 7.4 km and 1.4 ± 0.8 s, and they drifted westward at 8.9 ± 0.7 km/s. The speed is comparable to the reported magnitude of the intense subauroral ion drifts (SAID), suggesting that the fine‐scale structures are an optical manifestation of theE × Bdrift in the intense SAID. A spectral analysis identified multiple peaks at >10, 4, 2, 1.1, and <1/5 s period (>83, 33, 16, 9, and <1.7 km wavelength). Although most of the fine‐scale structures were stable during the drift across the field of view, some of the structures dynamically evolved within a few tens of km. The fine‐scale structures have a power law spectrum with a slope of −1, indicating that shear flow turbulence cascade structures to smaller scales. The fine‐scale structures pose a challenge to the subauroral ionosphere‐thermosphere interaction about how the ionosphere creates such fine‐scale structures and how the thermosphere reacts much faster than expected from a typical chemical reaction time.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10478412
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume:
128
Issue:
12
ISSN:
2169-9380
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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