Diffuse aurora

spaceweb@oulu.fi - last update: 25 November 1998, 2200 UT

Diffuse aurora are found on the equatorward part of auroral oval, in the region of the so-called central plasma sheet (CPS) precipitation most likely mapping to inner plasma sheet, where magnetic field is almost dipolar (see isotropic boundary). The precipitating particles are drifting around Earth, electrons to the east and protons to the west. The strongest diffuse auroras are found on the post-midnight sector, i.e., they are produced mainly by electrons. Proton precipitation is important especially in the pre-midnight sector.

Note that even diffuse aurora are not without any discrete structures: they are just so weak and difficult to observe. First space observations were by Lui and Anger (1973).

The pulsating aurora are also located within the diffuse region, as often also black aurora. In addition, when ring current particles come into play, diffuse low-latitude aurorae appear.


See also: