Cusp energetic particle events measured by POLAR spacecraft


The Charge and Mass Magnetospheric Ion Coimposition Experiment (CAMMICE) on the board the POLAR spacecraft observed more than 70 cusp energetic particle (CEP) eventin 1996. All of these events were associated with a decrease in the magnitude of the local magnetic field measured by the Magnetic Field Experiment (MFE) on POLAR. This is an important discovery, which reveals six interesting features for the CEP events: (1) They all were detected in the dayside at high latitude near apogee; (2) their energies were in excess of 2.4 MeV; (3) an individual CEP event could last for hours; (4) the event-averaged intensity of 1–200 keV/e helium was anticorrelated with the magnitude of the local geomagnetic field but correlated with the turbulent magnetic energy density; (5) the events were associated with an enhancement of the low frequency electromagnetic noise; and (6) a possible seasonal variation was found for the occurence of the events with a maximum in September. The measured high charges state of helium and oxygen ions in the CEP events indicates a solar source for these particles. A possible explanation is that the energetic helium ions are energized from lower energy helium by a local acceleration mechanism associated within the high-altitude dayside cusp. These observations represent a discovery of a major acceleration region of the magnetosphere.



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Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part C: Solar, Terrestrial & Planetary Science



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Copyright © 1999, Elsevier