University of Oulu

Miyoshi, Y., Saito, S., Kurita, S., Asamura, K., Hosokawa, K., Sakanoi, T., et al. (2020). Relativistic electron microbursts as high‐energy tail of pulsating aurora electrons. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL090360.

Relativistic electron microbursts as high‐energy tail of pulsating aurora electrons

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Author: Miyoshi, Y.1; Saito, S.2; Kurita, S.3;
Organizations: 1Institute for Space‐Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
2National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Koganei, Japan
3Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
4Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Japan
5Graduate School of Informatics and Engineering, The University of Electro‐Communications, Chofu, Japan
6Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
7National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
8The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, SOKENDAI, Hayama, Japan
9Space Physics and Astronomy Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
10Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, MD, USA
11Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
12Aerospace Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-02


In this study, by simulating the wave‐particle interactions, we show that subrelativistic/relativistic electron microbursts form the high‐energy tail of pulsating aurora (PsA). Whistler‐mode chorus waves that propagate along the magnetic field lines at high latitudes cause precipitation bursts of electrons with a wide energy range from a few kiloelectron volts (PsA) to several megaelectron volts (relativistic microbursts). The rising tone elements of chorus waves cause individual microbursts of subrelativistic/relativistic electrons and the internal modulation of PsA with a frequency of a few hertz. The chorus bursts for a few seconds cause the microburst trains of subrelativistic/relativistic electrons and the main pulsations of PsA. Our simulation studies demonstrate that both PsA and relativistic electron microbursts originate simultaneously from pitch angle scattering by chorus wave‐particle interactions along the field line.

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Series: Journal of geophysical research. Space physics
ISSN: 2169-9380
ISSN-E: 2169-9402
ISSN-L: 2169-9380
Volume: 47
Issue: 21
Article number: e2020GL090360
DOI: 10.1029/2020GL090360
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: This work is supported by JSPS KAKENHI (15H05747, 16H06286, 17H00728, 20H01955, JPJSBP120194814, and 20H01959) and JSPS‐CAS bilateral project.
Dataset Reference: Data Availability Statement: The REIMEI ESA/MAC data are opened to the public from DARTS at ISAS/JAXA ( The SAMPEX HILT data are available from the SAMPEX Data Center (
Copyright information: © 2020. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.