Small-Scale Dynamic Aurora

Space Sci Rev. 2021;217(1):17. doi: 10.1007/s11214-021-00796-w. Epub 2021 Feb 1.


Small-scale dynamic auroras have spatial scales of a few km or less, and temporal scales of a few seconds or less, which visualize the complex interplay among charged particles, Alfvén waves, and plasma instabilities working in the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupled regions. We summarize the observed properties of flickering auroras, vortex motions, and filamentary structures. We also summarize the development of fundamental theories, such as dispersive Alfvén waves (DAWs), plasma instabilities in the auroral acceleration region, ionospheric feedback instabilities (IFI), and the ionospheric Alfvén resonator (IAR).

Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11214-021-00796-w.

Keywords: Auroral breakup; Auroral phenomena; Dispersive Alfven waves; Flickering aurora; Ionospheric Alfven resonator; Ionospheric feedback instabilities; Magnetosphere-ionosphere coupled region.

Publication types

  • Review