Wave generation by ion horseshoe distributions on auroral field lines

R. Bingham, B. J. Kellett, R. A. Cairns, R. O. Dendy, P. K. Shukla

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Recent observation by Freja satellite of ions in the auroral zone at the boundary of the plasma sheet and tail lobe reveal the presence of a ring or horseshoe type distribution function. The horseshoe type distribution function measured by the satellites has a field aligned component which is moving in the case of the Freja data in the down-going direction with a peak velocity of about 400km/sec. We show that the horseshoe type distribution is unstable to predominantly perpendicular ion waves with frequencies in the lower-hybrid range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2713-2716
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1999


  • generation
  • auroral
  • horsehoe
  • wave

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