Recent studies suggest that electrons with energies up to several hundred keV precipitate into the atmosphere associated with pulsating aurora (PsA). It is debated the highest energy of precipitating electrons associated with PsA. Here we report for the first time that the energy extends to relativistic energies. PsA was observed by THEMIS all-sky imagers during a substorm that occurred on 27 March 2017. Energetic electron precipitation was detected by very low frequency subionospheric propagation. We found similar time variations between the auroral intensity and perturbation of the received radio signal intensity when the PsA occurred on the radio path. The perturbation showed a short recovery time of ~2 s. The recovery time indicates relaxation from ionospheric modification due to energetic electron precipitation and depends on the stopping altitude of the electrons. The recovery time required a stopping altitude of 50–60 km and indicates that the PsA is accompanied by relativistic electron precipitation.
|Geophysical Research Letters
|Published - 16 Dec. 2018
- pulsating aurora
- radiation belt
- relativistic electron precipitation