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Introduction to the thematic series “Coupling of the magnetosphere–ionosphere system”

This thematic series contains 4 papers mostly presented at the 2016 AOGS meeting in Beijing. The four papers investigate four key regions in the magnetosphere–ionosphere coupling process: mid-tail magnetosphere, near-Earth magnetosphere, inner magnetosphere, and the polar ground region. Guo et al. (Geosci Lett 4:18, 2017) study the current system in reconnection region using 2.5D...

Auroral streamer and its role in driving wave-like pre-onset aurora

The time scales of reconnection outflow, substorm expansion, and development of instabilities in the terrestrial magnetosphere are comparable, i.e., from several to tens of minutes, and their existence is related. In this paper, we investigate the physical relations among those phenomena with measurements during a substorm event on January 29, 2008. We present conjugate...

Using ultra-low frequency waves and their characteristics to diagnose key physics of substorm onset

Substorm onset is marked in the ionosphere by the sudden brightening of an existing auroral arc or the creation of a new auroral arc. Also present is the formation of auroral beads, proposed to play a key role in the detonation of the substorm, as well as the development of the large-scale substorm current wedge (SCW), invoked to carry the current diversion. Both these phenomena...