Variations of thermal electron energy distribution associated with field‐aligned currents

Takumi Abe, Takashi Okuzawa, Koh‐Ichiro ‐I Oyama, Hiroshi Fukunishi, Ryoichi Fujii

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Relationships between thermal electrons and field aligned currents (FACs) in the auroral region have been investigated using data simultaneously obtained from the Thermal Electron Detector (TED) and the fluxgate magnetometer both onboard the EXOS‐D satellite. Several features resulted from the observations are summarized as; (1) At altitudes from 300 to 1800km, electron temperature in the upward FAC region is higher than that of the neighboring no FAC region by the increment ΔT=1100∼9500K, while the temperature is lower in the downward FAC region by the decrement −ΔT=500∼1500K. (2) The electron temperature increase in the upward‐current region grows with an increase of the FAC density. (3) The thermal electrons do not have Maxwell distribution in the upward‐current region at altitudes higher than about 2000km.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-352
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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