A PROPOSED EXPERIMENT TO DETERMINE IF FIELD-ALIGNED CURRENTS CLOSE BY POLARIZATION CURRENTS

Authors
  1. Atkinson, G.
Corporate Authors
Communications Research Centre, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
Abstract
The magnetosphere and ionosphere form an electrically coupled system. This is because magnetic field lines tend to be equipotentials due to the very high conductivity parallel to magnetic field lines. There are a number of electric current systems believed to exist in which current flows down magnetic field lines, horizontally in the E region ionosphere, and back up magnetic field lines. These include auroral arc currents, magnetic substorm currents, partial ring currents, and magnetosphere boundary currents. There is an increasing number of observations of field-aligned currents. The mechanism of closure of these currents, as well as whether they close in the F region ionosphere or the outer magnetosphere, is of great interest. The letter points out that a conceptually simple experiment could determine whether a particular current system closes by polarization currents and could also find out what length of field line is involved in the current closure.
Date of publication
01 Jan 1973
Number of Pages
3
Reprinted from
J of Geophysical Research, vol 78, no 31, 1973, p 7549-7551
DSTKIM No
74-01124
CANDIS No
78080
Format(s):
Hardcopy

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