A stable auroral red (SAR) arc is an aurora with a dominant 630 nm emission at subauroral latitudes. SAR arcs have been considered to occur due to the spatial overlap between the plasmasphere and the ring-current ions. In the overlap region, plasmaspheric electrons are heated by ring-current ions or plasma waves, and their energy is then transferred down to the ionosphere where it causes oxygen red emission. However, there have been no study conducted so far that quantitatively examined plasma and electromagnetic fields in the magnetosphere associated with SAR arc. In this paper, we report the first quantitative evaluation of conjugate measurements of a SAR arc observed at 2204 UT on 28 March 2017 and investigate its source region using an all-sky imager at Nyrölä (magnetic latitude: 59.4°N), Finland, and the Arase satellite. The Arase observation shows that the SAR arc appeared in the overlap region between a plasmaspheric plume and the ring-current ions and that electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves and kinetic Alfven waves were not observed above the SAR arc. The SAR arc was located at the ionospheric trough minimum identified from a total electron content map obtained by the GNSS receiver network. The Swarm satellite flying in the ionosphere also passed the SAR arc at ~2320 UT and observed a decrease in electron density and an increase in electron temperature during the SAR-arc crossing. These observations suggest that the heating of plasmaspheric electrons via Coulomb collision with ring-current ions is the most plausible mechanism for the SAR-arc generation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science