Recent Ionospheric Observations Relating to Solar-Wind--Magnetosphere Coupling [and Discussion]
Lockwood, M. and Freeman, M. P. (1989) Recent Ionospheric Observations Relating to Solar-Wind--Magnetosphere Coupling [and Discussion]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 328 (1598). pp. 93-105. ISSN 1364-503X
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rsta.1989.0026
Simultaneous observations in the high-latitude ionosphere and in the near-Earth interplanetary medium have revealed the control exerted by the interplanetary magnetic field and the solar wind flow on field-perpendicular convection of plasma in both the ionosphere and the magnetosphere. Previous studies, using statistical surveys of data from both low-altitude polar-orbiting satellites and ground-based radars and magnetometers, have established that magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause is the dominant driving mechanism for convection. More recently, ground-based data and global auroral images of higher temporal resolution have been obtained and used to study the response of the ionospheric flows to changes in the interplanetary medium. These observations show that ionospheric convection responds rapidly (within a few minutes) to both increases and decreases in the reconnection rate over a range of spatial scales, as well as revealing transient enhancements which are also thought to be related to magnetopause phenomena. Such results emphasize the potential of ground-based radars and other remote-sensing instruments for studies of the Earth's interaction with the interplanetary medium.