Direct Observation of Subrelativistic Electron Precipitation Potentially Driven by EMIC Waves
Electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves are known to typically cause electron losses into Earth\textquoterights upper atmosphere at >~1 MeV, while the minimum energy of electrons subject to efficient EMIC-driven precipitation loss is unresolved. This letter reports electron precipitation from subrelativistic energies of ~250 keV up to ~1 MeV observed by the Focused Investigations of Relativistic Electron Burst Intensity, Range and Dynamics (FIREBIRD-II) CubeSats, while two Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) observed proton precipitation nearby. Van Allen Probe A detected EMIC waves (~0.7\textendash2.0 nT) over the similar L shell extent of electron precipitation observed by FIREBIRD-II, albeit with a ~1.6 magnetic local time (MLT) difference. Although plasmaspheric hiss and magnetosonic waves were also observed, quasi-linear calculations indicate that EMIC waves were the most efficient in driving the electron precipitation. Quasi-linear theory predicts efficient precipitation at >0.8\textendash1 MeV (due to H-band EMIC waves), suggesting that other mechanisms are required to explain the observed subrelativistic electron precipitation.
|Year of Publication||
Geophysical Research Letters