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Found 4 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 4


On the Acceleration Mechanism of Ultrarelativistic Electrons in the Center of the Outer Radiation Belt: A Statistical Study

Using energetic particle and wave measurements from the Van Allen Probes, Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES), and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), the acceleration mechanism of ultrarelativistic electrons (>3 MeV) in the center of the outer radiation belt is investigated statistically. A superposed epoch analysis is conducted using 19 storms, which caused flux enhancements of 1.8\textendash7.7 MeV electrons. The evolution of electron phase space density radial profile suggests an energy-dependent acceleration of ultrarelativistic electrons in the outer belt. Especially, for electrons with very high energies (~7 MeV), prevalent positive phase space density radial gradients support inward radial diffusion being responsible for electron acceleration in the center of the outer belt (L*~3\textendash5) during most enhancement events in the Van Allen Probes era. We propose a two-step acceleration process to explain the acceleration of ~7 MeV electrons in the outer belt: intense and sustained chorus waves locally energize core electron populations to ultrarelativistic energies at high L region beyond the Van Allen Probes\textquoteright apogee, followed by inward radial diffusion which further energizes these populations to even higher energies. Statistical results of chorus wave activity inferred from POES precipitating electron measurements as well as core electron populations observed by the Van Allen Probes and GOES support this hypothesis.

Zhao, H.; Baker, D.N.; Li, X.; Malaspina, D.M.; Jaynes, A.N.; Kanekal, S.G.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 10/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA027111

Acceleration mechanism; Inward radial diffusion; Local Acceleration; Phase space density; Radiation belts; ultrarelativistic electrons; Van Allen Probes

The Effects of Geomagnetic Storms and Solar Wind Conditions on the Ultrarelativistic Electron Flux Enhancements

Using data from the Relativistic Electron Proton Telescope on the Van Allen Probes, the effects of geomagnetic storms and solar wind conditions on the ultrarelativistic electron (E > ~3 MeV) flux enhancements in the outer radiation belt, especially regarding their energy dependence, are investigated. It is showed that, statistically, more intense geomagnetic storms are indeed more likely to cause flux enhancements of ~1.8- to 7.7-MeV electrons, though large variations exist. As the electron energy gets higher, the probability of flux enhancement gets lower. To shed light on which conditions of the storms are preferred to cause ultrarelativistic electron flux enhancement, detailed superposed epoch analyses of solar wind parameters and geomagnetic indices during moderate and intense storms with/without flux enhancements of different energy electrons are conducted. The results suggest that the storms with higher solar wind speed, sustained southward interplanetary magnetic field Bz, lower solar wind number density, higher solar wind Ey, and elevated and sustained substorm activity are more likely to cause ultrarelativistic electron flux enhancements in the outer belt. Comparing results of different energy electrons, the solar wind speed and AE index are the two parameters mostly correlated with the energy-dependent acceleration of ultrarelativistic electrons: Storms with higher solar wind speed and elevated and sustained substorm activity are more likely to cause flux enhancement of ultrarelativistic electrons with higher energies. This suggests the important roles of inward radial diffusion as well as the source and seed populations provided by substorms on the energy-dependent acceleration of ultrarelativistic electrons.

Zhao, H.; Baker, D.; Li, X.; Jaynes, A.; Kanekal, S.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 03/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA026257

Acceleration mechanism; Geomagnetic storms; Radiation belt; solar wind conditions; ultrarelativistic electrons; Van Allen Probes


Signatures of Ultrarelativistic Electron Loss in the Heart of the Outer Radiation Belt Measured by Van Allen Probes

Up until recently, signatures of the ultrarelativistic electron loss driven by electromagnetic ion cyclotron (EMIC) waves in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt have been limited to direct or indirect measurements of electron precipitation or the narrowing of normalized pitch angle distributions in the heart of the belt. In this study, we demonstrate additional observational evidence of ultrarelativistic electron loss that can be driven by resonant interaction with EMIC waves. We analyzed the profiles derived from Van Allen Probe particle data as a function of time and three adiabatic invariants between 9 October and 29 November 2012. New local minimums in the profiles are accompanied by the narrowing of normalized pitch angle distributions and ground-based detection of EMIC waves. Such a correlation may be indicative of ultrarelativistic electron precipitation into the Earth\textquoterights atmosphere caused by resonance with EMIC waves.

Aseev, N.; Shprits, Y; Drozdov, A; Kellerman, A.; Usanova, M.; Wang, D.; Zhelavskaya, I.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 09/2017

YEAR: 2017     DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024485

electron loss; EMIC waves; Radiation belts; ultrarelativistic electrons; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions


An impenetrable barrier to ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts

Early observations1, 2 indicated that the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts could be separated into an inner zone dominated by high-energy protons and an outer zone dominated by high-energy electrons. Subsequent studies3, 4 showed that electrons of moderate energy (less than about one megaelectronvolt) often populate both zones, with a deep \textquoteleftslot\textquoteright region largely devoid of particles between them. There is a region of dense cold plasma around the Earth known as the plasmasphere, the outer boundary of which is called the plasmapause. The two-belt radiation structure was explained as arising from strong electron interactions with plasmaspheric hiss just inside the plasmapause boundary5, with the inner edge of the outer radiation zone corresponding to the minimum plasmapause location6. Recent observations have revealed unexpected radiation belt morphology7, 8, especially at ultrarelativistic kinetic energies9, 10 (more than five megaelectronvolts). Here we analyse an extended data set that reveals an exceedingly sharp inner boundary for the ultrarelativistic electrons. Additional, concurrently measured data11 reveal that this barrier to inward electron radial transport does not arise because of a physical boundary within the Earth\textquoterights intrinsic magnetic field, and that inward radial diffusion is unlikely to be inhibited by scattering by electromagnetic transmitter wave fields. Rather, we suggest that exceptionally slow natural inward radial diffusion combined with weak, but persistent, wave\textendashparticle pitch angle scattering deep inside the Earth\textquoterights plasmasphere can combine to create an almost impenetrable barrier through which the most energetic Van Allen belt electrons cannot migrate.

Baker, D.; Jaynes, A.; Hoxie, V.; Thorne, R.; Foster, J.; Li, X.; Fennell, J.; Wygant, J.; Kanekal, S.; Erickson, P.; Kurth, W.; Li, W.; Ma, Q.; Schiller, Q.; Blum, L.; Malaspina, D.; Gerrard, A.; Lanzerotti, L.;

Published by: Nature      Published on: 11/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1038/nature13956

Magnetospheric physics; ultrarelativistic electrons; Van Allen Belts; Van Allen Probes