Cover: Geomagnetic Field Distortion by a Solar Stream as a Mechanism for the Production of Polar Aurora and Electrojets.

Geomagnetic Field Distortion by a Solar Stream as a Mechanism for the Production of Polar Aurora and Electrojets.

Published 1961

by J. W. Kern

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A description of a mechanism for charge separation in geomagnetically trapped radiation, which may account for some observed phenomena associated with the polar aurora and the electrojet current systems. The development proposed is: Assuming that there exist eastward or westward longitudinal gradients in the geomagnetic field resulting from distortion of the geomagnetic field by solar streams, if the trapped radiation is adiabatic in character, radial drift separation of positive and negative charged particles must occur. It follows that for bounded or irregular distributions of plasmanumber density in such an adiabatic drift region, electric fields will arise. The origin of such electric fields will not arrest the drift separation of the charged particles, but will contribute to exponential growth of irregularities in the trapped-plasma density. An adiabatic acceleration mechanism is described, which is based on incorporating the electrostatic energy of the particle in the energy function for the particle. Direct consequences of polarization of the geomagnetically trapped radiation will be the polar electrojet current systems and the polar aurora.

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