2020 Workshop:Subauroral Science

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Subauroral Science: STEVE, SAPS, SAID, and SAR arcs!

Location, Date/Time and Duration

2 hours


Bea Gallardo-Lacourt
Philip J. Erickson
Gareth Perry
Carlos Martinis
Bharat Kunduri


The subauroral region is influenced by different driving forces such as the neutral winds, penetration electric fields, and polarization electric fields (SAPS/SAID). The electric fields interact with the inner magnetosphere, affecting plasma dynamics over a broad energy range. Stable auroral red (SAR) arcs, a 630.0 nm airglow emission, have been observed and studied in this region for decades and connections with SAPS/SAID have been found. More recently, a collaborative effort between the scientific community and citizen scientists has led to the discovery of a new phenomenon called Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement (STEVE) which appears to be the optical manifestation of extreme SAID. An increase in observational coverage from several ground and space-based instruments, such as all sky imagers, radars and satellites (e.g. TREx, POES, DMSP, SWARM, and Van Allen Probes), as well as advances in modeling techniques, such as self-consistent coupling between the ionosphere, thermosphere, and magnetosphere, provide an outstanding opportunity to study the subauroral region.

In this session we will focus on experimental, numerical, and/or theoretical studies that address outstanding questions on: (1) the physics of the STEVE phenomena and SAR arcs, including, what is the connection (if any) between the two phenomena, (2) plasma convection in the subauroral ionosphere and/or conjugate inner magnetosphere during quiet and geomagnetically active times., and (3) the significance of convection in terms of plasma dynamics across the energy spectrum.


1) Neil Zeller (AAC) - Auroral photography of STEVE

2) Bill Archer (USaskatoon) - STEVE, ionospheric manifestation of SAIDs

3) Carlos Martinis (BU) - STEVE vs SAR arcs

4) Phil Erickson (MIT) - Contributions of Millstone Hill to STEVE

5) Gareth Perry (NJIT) - Ionospheric radar measurements of STEVE

6) Megan Gillies (UCalgary) - Spectrographic measurements of STEVE

7) Brian Harding (UC Berkeley) - Photochemical model of STEVE

8) Toshi Nishimura (BU) - Magnetospheric drivers of STEVE

9) Josh Semeter (BU) - Picket fence analysis

10) Liz MacDonald (NASA GSFC) - Historic citizen scientists observations of STEVE

How to participate in the session

Zoom link: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/j/95086063279

If you missed the session you can watch the talks on Youtube: https://youtu.be/WgIv80cOZqU

You can also access the talks along with the chat here: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/rec/share/5MNID5fh9kNJH4X813jwcfMEPqTsT6a80SRKqaVfzBydQ5r66Uit_no1_15vRj4B

Workshop Summary

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