Cover in Nature: Click here to get to the press release for the Nature paper, 'Asymmetric auroral intensities in the Earth's Northern and Southern hemispheres'.
The scientific goals of the Norwegian ICESTAR/IHY Program are closely linked to
the international ICESTAR Program
and will focus on
Inter-hemispherical Studies of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling
the heliospheric drivers
and the effects of geomagnetic disturbances in the
mesosphere and stratosphere.
Aurora seen from Iceland and Syowa (Antartica)
simultaneously (Sato et al., 2005)
An O-shaped aurora seen from ground
The overall objective of the program is to assess
- how the various constituents of the magnetosphere-ionosphere
system repond to geomagnetic disturbances under different
heliospheric conditions, and
- how these disturbances interact with the polar
upper and middle atmosphere.
We will determine
- the timing and location of
substorm onsets in the two hemispheres.
- the conjugacy or
non-conjugacy of theta aurora to obtain information about structure and
dynamics of the closed magnetosphere during positive z - component of the
interplanetary magnetic field.
- the magnetic reconnection rates
(dayside and nightside) to clarify the energy/mass exchange with the
- the interaction with the middle atmosphere by use of
satellite and ground-based observations of minor constituents in the middle
atmosphere, and measures of energetic particle precipitation (EPP)
to further develop models of the EPP-induced chemical changes, in particular
with regard to nitrogen species.
We will obtain new knowledge about interaction
between magnetosphere and ionosphere by radar observation of ion outflow and
related fine scale ionospheric structures and plasma physics, and also from
observations of conductance, convection patterns, polar cap potentials and
field aligned currents in the two hemispheres.