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Coupling of the magnetosphere-ionosphere system

Edited by: Zhonghua Yao, Kyle Murphy, Jonathan Rae, Balan Nanan

This special collection will provide articles related to recent advances in the coupling dynamics between magnetosphere and ionosphere.
The coupling between Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere is essential to the transfer of energy and particle acceleration in the Solar-Terrestrial system. The dynamic coupling is usually accompanied by the generation of intense field-aligned currents and acceleration of electrons and ions and is typically characterized by magnetic perturbations observed by ground magnetometers, or magnetic and plasma observations from low-altitude spacecraft and magnetospheric observations. These dynamic processes exist at nearly all spatial and temporal scales, from the near-global substorm current wedge and westward travelling surge observed during the substorm expansion phase, to the ion-gyro-radius scale and pulsating aurora observed during the substorm recovery phase, and have been identified. Neither particle acceleration processes nor the generation of field-aligned currents that couple the magnetosphere to the ionosphere and vice versa are well understood. 
The past two decades have seen the development and launch of a number of space missions and deployment of ground stations dedicated to the investigation of a particular link in the chain of interactions between magnetosphere and ionosphere. With these new assets it is now possible to understand the energy conversion process between magnetosphere and ionosphere on both global and localized scales with conjugate measurements in all key regions, i.e., the mid-magnetotail, near-Earth magnetotail, polar region, ionosphere and Earth’s ground. Major breakthroughs have recently been made with these conjugate measurements, such as THEMIS, Cluster, AMPERE, MMS and Van Allen Probes.
This special collection will include a number of papers to be presented in the session ST06 (Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling Dynamics) in the AOGS annual meeting to be held in Beijing between 31 July and 5 August 2016. Papers from outside the meeting are also welcome This collection of papers will be focused on one of the fundamental and pivotal physical process in near-Earth space science, i.e., the coupling dynamics between magnetosphere and ionosphere.

  1. Research Letter

    Using ultra-low frequency waves and their characteristics to diagnose key physics of substorm onset

    Substorm onset is marked in the ionosphere by the sudden brightening of an existing auroral arc or the creation of a new auroral arc. Also present is the formation of auroral beads, proposed to play a key role...

    I. J. Rae, K. R. Murphy, Clare E. J. Watt, Ian R. Mann, Zhonghua Yao, Nadine M. E. Kalmoni, Colin Forsyth and David K. Milling

    Geoscience Letters 2017 4:23

    Published on: 24 October 2017

  2. Research Letter

    Auroral streamer and its role in driving wave-like pre-onset aurora

    The time scales of reconnection outflow, substorm expansion, and development of instabilities in the terrestrial magnetosphere are comparable, i.e., from several to tens of minutes, and their existence is rela...

    Zhonghua Yao, Z. Y. Pu, I. J. Rae, A. Radioti and M. V. Kubyshkina

    Geoscience Letters 2017 4:8

    Published on: 11 April 2017