Auroral arcs

Polar wind






Subauroral ion drifts

A magnetospheric substorm involves a reconfiguration of the whole magnetosphere, during which magnetotail plasma is injected into the near-Earth environment. The Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) has developed a model for the inward moving injection front that separates the hot injected plasma and the cold near-Earth plasma.

BIRA-IASB computes the polarization electric field at this interface. When mapped to the ionosphere, this field is sufficiently strong so as to drive ion flows > 1 km/s in the subauroral ionosphere (subauroral ion drifts or SAID). 


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