On August 27, 1996, a two-hour energetic heavy ion event (∼1 MeV) was detected at 8:25 UT at apogee (∼9 Re and an invariant latitude of ∼80°), by the Charge and Mass Magnetospheric Ion Composition Experiment onboard POLAR. The event, with a maximum spin averaged peak flux of ∼150 particles/(cm²-sr-s-MeV), showed three local peaks corresponding to three localized regions; the ion pitch angle distributions in the three regions were different from an isotropic distribution and different from each other. No comparable flux was observed by the WIND spacecraft. The appearance of lower energy He++ and O > +2 during the event period indicates a solar source for these particles. From region 1 to 2 to 3, the helium energy spectra softened. A distorted magnetic field with three local minima corresponding to the three He peak fluxes was also observed by POLAR. A possible explanation is that the energetic He ions were energized from lower energy helium by a local acceleration mechanism that preferred smaller rigidity ions in the high altitude polar cusp region.



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Geophysical Research Letters


American Geophysical Union

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Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.

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