Initial POLAR MFE observation of substorm signatures in the polar magnetosphere

H. Kawano, G. Le, C. T. Russell, G. Rostoker, T. Mukai, H. Spence

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies substorm influences in the polar magnetosphere using data from the POLAR magnetic field experiment (MFE). The POLAR spacecraft remains in the high altitude polar magnetosphere for extended periods around apogee. There it can stay at nearly constant altitude through all phases of a substorm, which was not possible on previous missions. We report such an event on March 28, 1996. Ground magnetometers monitored substorm activity, while the POLAR spacecraft, directly over the pole at (-0.8,-0.6,8.5) RE in GSM coordinates, observed a corresponding perturbation in the total magnetic field strength. The total magnetic field first increased, then recovered toward quiet levels, consistent with erosion of magnetic flux from the dayside magnetosphere, followed by transport of that flux to the magnetotail, and eventual onset of tail reconnection and the return of that magnetic flux to the dayside magnetosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number97GL01405
Pages (from-to)1459-1462
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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