A statistical study of dayside diffuse aurora observed at Yellow River Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Desheng Han1, Zejun Hu1, Hongqiao Hu1, Huigen Yang1, Dehong Huang1 and Xiangcai Chen2, (1)Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China, (2), Geophysics Department, University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen, Norway
Chinese Yellow River Station (YRS), at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard is one of the few stations that can make longtime optical auroral observation at the cusp latitude in the dayside during the boreal winter season on the Earth. Since November 2003, an optical observation system consisting of three identical all-sky imagers supplied with the narrow band filters centered at 427.8, 557.5 and 630.0nm, has been installed at YRS, and the continuous observations providing us with an unprecedented opportunity to investigate some new properties of dayside aurora. Optical diffuse auroras are normally observed at the sub-aurora latitude in nightside on the ground. However, by using 7-year continuous observations obtained at YRS, we found that the diffuse auroras are very frequently observed on the dayside at the high latitude, i.e., near the cusp. We classified the dayside diffuse aurora into four primary categories. They are (1) Veiling Diffuse Aurora, which has no obvious morphological structure and clear boundaries, sometimes likes a thick cloud cover the entire sky, (2) Patch Diffuse Aurora, which is an aurora patch normally in ~10-100km in width and usually owns pulsating property; (3) Diffuse Arcs, which looks like an arc but is apparently different from the discrete auroral arcs in morphology, and (4) Pulsating Aurora, occurring with sparkling forms. We statistical studied how the occurrence of the four types of dayside diffuse auroras depends on the local time, magnetic activity, and solar wind conditions. We found that the occurrence of each type of dayside diffuse aurora shows a unimodal distribution with magnetic local time and their peaks are mostly appeared near the magnetic local noon. We also noted that ~92.2% of the dayside diffuse auroras is observed under low magnetic activity, i.e., Kp ≤ 3, and the dayside diffuse auroras prefer to be observed under IMF By<0 and Bz>0. Although previous studies suggested that the dayside diffuse aurora should be caused by wave scattering of relatively high-energy magnetospheric electrons that drift from the nightside after a substorm injection, we believe that our observational results on the dayside diffuse aurora will provide new clues for fully understanding the generation mechanisms to the diffuse aurora.