Electron Microbursts from Dawn to Dusk: Investigating Whistler Mode Chorus as a Source of Microbursts

Silas Andrews, Dr. John Sample, Department of Physics, Montana State University, Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717

This project aims to further our understanding of the origin of electron microbursts in Earth’s upper atmosphere by investigating the hypothesized correlation between microbursts and whistler mode chorus. It has been observed that the distribution of whistler mode chorus favors the dawn side of the Earth, so if the theory is true that chorus causes microbursts, observed microbursts would have a significant distribution also favoring the dawn side. Previous observation and analysis does show more microbursts in this region, however there is still a significant distribution of microbursts present where whistler mode chorus is absolutely minimal on the dusk side. This distribution of microburst events on the dusk side is the subject of investigation for this project. Data from the Solar Anomalous Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) satellite will be utilized in this study, specifically from the HILT instrument. HILT detected electron activity while SAMPEX was in orbit from 1992 through 2004. This electron activity will be analyzed with satellite orbit data and an algorithm to isolate microbursts, isolated around regions of the subject of investigation. If the events recorded on the dusk side of the Earth are microburst events caused by whistler mode chorus that have drifted from dawn side to dusk, the study will contribute to confirming the hypothesis that whistler mode chorus causes microbursts. If the study shows that the microbursts observed by SAMPEX on the dusk side are truly local events, then it will show that whistler mode chorus is not the only contributor to electron microbursts, pointing to an additional microburst source.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Silas Andrews

Institution: Montana State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Physics/Astronomy

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6134