Influence of interplanetary magnetic field on global auroral patterns

J. H. Shue, P. T. Newell, K. Liou, C. I. Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We produce average patterns of global auroral brightness using images from the Polar Ultraviolet Imager (UVI). UVI measures auroral brightness at two wavelength bands within the N2 Lyman-Birge-Hopfield emission spectra, allowing a determination of average energy and total precipitating energy flux. The auroral patterns are organized by both season (to show the effects of solar UV flux on auroral patterns) and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientation. One global pattern for each of eight IMF clock angles in the GSM YZ plane is presented. It is shown that the dependence of global auroral patterns on IMF changes with the season. The afternoon bright spot is more distinct from the nightside aurora for By < 0 than for By > 0 under large northward IMF or small IMF Bz conditions during the summer. The average position of the duskside aurora varies with the sign of IMF B y during the summer. However, its location remains almost the same during the winter. Northern Hemisphere auroral power is greater for B y < 0 than for By > 0. The By effect on auroral power is more pronounced when the southward IMF is larger.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Pages (from-to)5913-5926
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


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