Statistical Study of Auroral/Resonant-Scattering 427.8-nm Emission Observed at Subauroral Latitudes Over 14 Years

K. Shiokawa, Y. Otsuka, M. Connors

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Auroral emission at 427.8-nm from N2 + ions is caused by precipitation of energetic electrons, or by resonant scattering of sunlight by auroral N2 + ions. The latter often causes impressive purple aurora at high altitudes. However, statistical characteristics of auroral 427.8-nm emission have not been well studied. In this paper we report occurrence characteristics of high 427.8-nm emission intensities (more than 100 R) at subauroral latitudes, based on measurements by a filter-tilting photometer over 14 years (2005–2018) at Athabasca, Canada (magnetic latitude: ~62°). We divided the data set into solar elevation angles (θs) more than and less than −24° (shadow height of sunlight: 600 km) to separate the 427.8-nm emissions caused by resonant scattering of sunlight and those excited by auroral electrons, respectively. The occurrence rate of 427.8-nm emissions of more than 100 R is 10.6% and 7.65% for θs more than and less than −24°, respectively, confirming that resonant scattering of sunlight by N2 + ions is a cause of the strong 427.8-nm emissions of more than 100 R in the sunlit ionosphere. The occurrence rate is high in the postmidnight sector and increases with increasing geomagnetic activity, solar wind speed, and density. The occurrence rate is lowest in winter. A high occurrence rate was observed in 2015–2018, during the declining phase of the 11-year solar activity. Superposed epoch analysis indicates that the 427.8-nm emission exceeds 100 R when solar wind speed increases and solar wind density concurrently decreases, though the standard deviation of the data is rather large.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9293-9301
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume124
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov. 2019

Keywords

  • 427.8 nm
  • N (1NG)
  • ion upflow
  • ionosphere
  • molecular nitrogen ion
  • purple aurora

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