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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...

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...

The CASSIOPE/e-POP Magnetic Field Instrument (MGF)

Field-aligned currents couple energy between the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere and are responsible for driving both micro and macro motions of plasma and neutral atoms in both regimes. These currents are believed to be a contributing energy source for ion acceleration in the polar ionosphere and may be detected via measurements of magnetic gradients along the track of a...