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Volume 36, issue 4 | Copyright
Ann. Geophys., 36, 1131-1140, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-1131-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 21 Aug 2018

Regular paper | 21 Aug 2018

Relative positions of the polar boundary of the outer electron radiation belt and the equatorial boundary of the auroral oval

Maria O. Riazanteseva1, Elizaveta E. Antonova1,2, Marina V. Stepanova3, Boris V. Marjin2,†, Ilia A. Rubinshtein2, Vera O. Barinova2, and Nikita V. Sotnikov2 Maria O. Riazanteseva et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute (IKI) Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
  • 2Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Physics Department, Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), Santiago, Chile
  • deceased

Abstract. Finding the position of the polar boundary of the outer electron radiation belt, relative to the position of the auroral oval, is a long-standing problem. Here we analyze it using the data of the METEOR-M1 auroral satellite for the period from 11 November 2009 to 27 March 2010. The geomagnetic conditions during the analyzed period were comparatively quiet. METEOR-M1 has a polar solar-synchronous circular orbit with an altitude of  ≈ 832km, a period of 101.3min, and an inclination of 98°. We analyze flux observations of auroral electrons with energies between 0.03 and 16keV, and electrons with energies  > 100keV, measured simultaneously by the GGAK-M set of instruments, composed of semiconductors, scintillator detectors, and electrostatic analyzers. We assume that in the absence of geomagnetic storms the polar boundary of the outer radiation belt can be identified as a decrease in the count rate of precipitating energetic electrons to the background level. It was found that this boundary can be located both inside the auroral oval or equatorward of the equatorial boundary of the auroral precipitation. It was also found that for slightly disturbed geomagnetic conditions the polar boundary of the outer radiation belt is almost always located inside the auroral oval. We observe that the difference between the position of the polar boundary of the outer radiation belt and the position of the equatorial boundary of the auroral precipitation depend on the AE and PC indices of geomagnetic activity. The implications of these results in the analysis of the formation of the outer radiation belt are discussed.

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The position of the external boundary of the outer electron radiation belt (ORB), relative to the auroral oval's position, is hard to determine. It was done using simultaneous measurements of energetic and auroral electrons onboard METEOR-M1. Our analysis shows that the ORB boundary is often located inside the auroral oval and that the number of such events increases with growing geomagnetic activity. These results are relevant to our understanding of the topology of the geomagnetic field.
The position of the external boundary of the outer electron radiation belt (ORB), relative to...
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