Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere

Shyeh Tjing Loi, Tara Murphy, Iver H. Cairns, Frederick W. Menk, Colin L. Waters, Philip J. Erickson, Cathryn M. Trott, Natasha Hurley-Walker, John Morgan, Emil Lenc, André R. Offringa, Martin E. Bell, Ronald D. Ekers, B. M. Gaensler, Colin J. Lonsdale, Lu Feng, Paul J. Hancock, David L. Kaplan, G. Bernardi, Judd BowmanF. Briggs, R. J. Cappallo, A. A. Deshpande, L. J. Greenhill, B. J. Hazelton, M. Johnston-Hollitt, S. R. McWhirter, D. A. Mitchell, M. F. Morales, E. Morgan, D. Oberoi, S. M. Ord, T. Prabu, N. Udaya Shankar, K. S. Srivani, R. Subrahmanyan, S. J. Tingay, R. B. Wayth, R. L. Webster, A. Williams, C. L. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ionization of the Earth's atmosphere by sunlight forms a complex, multilayered plasma environment within the Earth's magnetosphere, the innermost layers being the ionosphere and plasmasphere. The plasmasphere is believed to be embedded with cylindrical density structures (ducts) aligned along the Earth's magnetic field, but direct evidence for these remains scarce. Here we report the first direct wide-angle observation of an extensive array of field-aligned ducts bridging the upper ionosphere and inner plasmasphere, using a novel ground-based imaging technique. We establish their heights and motions by feature tracking and parallax analysis. The structures are strikingly organized, appearing as regularly spaced, alternating tubes of overdensities and underdensities strongly aligned with the Earth's magnetic field. These findings represent the first direct visual evidence for the existence of such structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3707-3714
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume42
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2015

Fingerprint

plasmasphere
ionospheres
ionosphere
upper ionosphere
Earth magnetosphere
parallax
Earth atmosphere
sunlight
magnetic field
magnetic fields
imaging techniques
tubes
magnetosphere
ionization
plasma
atmosphere

Keywords

  • field aligned
  • ionosphere
  • Murchison Widefield Array
  • radio telescope
  • whistler duct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Loi, S. T., Murphy, T., Cairns, I. H., Menk, F. W., Waters, C. L., Erickson, P. J., ... Williams, C. L. (2015). Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(10), 3707-3714. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL063699

Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere. / Loi, Shyeh Tjing; Murphy, Tara; Cairns, Iver H.; Menk, Frederick W.; Waters, Colin L.; Erickson, Philip J.; Trott, Cathryn M.; Hurley-Walker, Natasha; Morgan, John; Lenc, Emil; Offringa, André R.; Bell, Martin E.; Ekers, Ronald D.; Gaensler, B. M.; Lonsdale, Colin J.; Feng, Lu; Hancock, Paul J.; Kaplan, David L.; Bernardi, G.; Bowman, Judd; Briggs, F.; Cappallo, R. J.; Deshpande, A. A.; Greenhill, L. J.; Hazelton, B. J.; Johnston-Hollitt, M.; McWhirter, S. R.; Mitchell, D. A.; Morales, M. F.; Morgan, E.; Oberoi, D.; Ord, S. M.; Prabu, T.; Shankar, N. Udaya; Srivani, K. S.; Subrahmanyan, R.; Tingay, S. J.; Wayth, R. B.; Webster, R. L.; Williams, A.; Williams, C. L.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 42, No. 10, 28.05.2015, p. 3707-3714.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Loi, ST, Murphy, T, Cairns, IH, Menk, FW, Waters, CL, Erickson, PJ, Trott, CM, Hurley-Walker, N, Morgan, J, Lenc, E, Offringa, AR, Bell, ME, Ekers, RD, Gaensler, BM, Lonsdale, CJ, Feng, L, Hancock, PJ, Kaplan, DL, Bernardi, G, Bowman, J, Briggs, F, Cappallo, RJ, Deshpande, AA, Greenhill, LJ, Hazelton, BJ, Johnston-Hollitt, M, McWhirter, SR, Mitchell, DA, Morales, MF, Morgan, E, Oberoi, D, Ord, SM, Prabu, T, Shankar, NU, Srivani, KS, Subrahmanyan, R, Tingay, SJ, Wayth, RB, Webster, RL, Williams, A & Williams, CL 2015, 'Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 42, no. 10, pp. 3707-3714. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL063699
Loi ST, Murphy T, Cairns IH, Menk FW, Waters CL, Erickson PJ et al. Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere. Geophysical Research Letters. 2015 May 28;42(10):3707-3714. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL063699
Loi, Shyeh Tjing ; Murphy, Tara ; Cairns, Iver H. ; Menk, Frederick W. ; Waters, Colin L. ; Erickson, Philip J. ; Trott, Cathryn M. ; Hurley-Walker, Natasha ; Morgan, John ; Lenc, Emil ; Offringa, André R. ; Bell, Martin E. ; Ekers, Ronald D. ; Gaensler, B. M. ; Lonsdale, Colin J. ; Feng, Lu ; Hancock, Paul J. ; Kaplan, David L. ; Bernardi, G. ; Bowman, Judd ; Briggs, F. ; Cappallo, R. J. ; Deshpande, A. A. ; Greenhill, L. J. ; Hazelton, B. J. ; Johnston-Hollitt, M. ; McWhirter, S. R. ; Mitchell, D. A. ; Morales, M. F. ; Morgan, E. ; Oberoi, D. ; Ord, S. M. ; Prabu, T. ; Shankar, N. Udaya ; Srivani, K. S. ; Subrahmanyan, R. ; Tingay, S. J. ; Wayth, R. B. ; Webster, R. L. ; Williams, A. ; Williams, C. L. / Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 42, No. 10. pp. 3707-3714.
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T1 - Real-time imaging of density ducts between the plasmasphere and ionosphere

AU - Loi, Shyeh Tjing

AU - Murphy, Tara

AU - Cairns, Iver H.

AU - Menk, Frederick W.

AU - Waters, Colin L.

AU - Erickson, Philip J.

AU - Trott, Cathryn M.

AU - Hurley-Walker, Natasha

AU - Morgan, John

AU - Lenc, Emil

AU - Offringa, André R.

AU - Bell, Martin E.

AU - Ekers, Ronald D.

AU - Gaensler, B. M.

AU - Lonsdale, Colin J.

AU - Feng, Lu

AU - Hancock, Paul J.

AU - Kaplan, David L.

AU - Bernardi, G.

AU - Bowman, Judd

AU - Briggs, F.

AU - Cappallo, R. J.

AU - Deshpande, A. A.

AU - Greenhill, L. J.

AU - Hazelton, B. J.

AU - Johnston-Hollitt, M.

AU - McWhirter, S. R.

AU - Mitchell, D. A.

AU - Morales, M. F.

AU - Morgan, E.

AU - Oberoi, D.

AU - Ord, S. M.

AU - Prabu, T.

AU - Shankar, N. Udaya

AU - Srivani, K. S.

AU - Subrahmanyan, R.

AU - Tingay, S. J.

AU - Wayth, R. B.

AU - Webster, R. L.

AU - Williams, A.

AU - Williams, C. L.

PY - 2015/5/28

Y1 - 2015/5/28

N2 - Ionization of the Earth's atmosphere by sunlight forms a complex, multilayered plasma environment within the Earth's magnetosphere, the innermost layers being the ionosphere and plasmasphere. The plasmasphere is believed to be embedded with cylindrical density structures (ducts) aligned along the Earth's magnetic field, but direct evidence for these remains scarce. Here we report the first direct wide-angle observation of an extensive array of field-aligned ducts bridging the upper ionosphere and inner plasmasphere, using a novel ground-based imaging technique. We establish their heights and motions by feature tracking and parallax analysis. The structures are strikingly organized, appearing as regularly spaced, alternating tubes of overdensities and underdensities strongly aligned with the Earth's magnetic field. These findings represent the first direct visual evidence for the existence of such structures.

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KW - field aligned

KW - ionosphere

KW - Murchison Widefield Array

KW - radio telescope

KW - whistler duct

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JO - Geophysical Research Letters

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