Spatio-temporal structure of the wave packets generated by the solar terminator.

    Using long-term (1998--2009) total electron content (TEC) measurements from the GPS global network including dense network of GPS sites in USA and Japan, we have obtained the first data regarding the spatio-temporal structure and the statistics of medium-scale traveling wave packets (MS TWPs) excited by the solar terminator (ST). Total amount of the detected TWPs exceeds 565,000. There is no correlation between TWPs occurrence and geomagnetic and solar activity. We found that the diurnal, seasonal and spectral MS TWPs characteristics are specified by the solar terminator (ST) dynamics. MS TWPs are the chains of narrow-band TEC oscillations with single packet's duration of about 1-2 h and oscillation periods of 10-20 min. The total duration of chain is about 4-6 h. The MS TWPs spatial structure is characterized by a high degree of anisotropy and coherence at the distance of more than 10 wavelengths. Occurrence rate of daytime MS TWPs is high in winter and during equinoxes. Occurrence rate of nighttime MS TWPs has its peak in summer. These features are consistent with previous MS travelling ionosphere disturbance (TID) statistics obtained from 630-nm airglow imaging observations in Japan. In winter, MS TWPs in the northern hemisphere are observed 3-4 h after the morning ST passage. In summer, MS TWPs are detected 1.5-2 h before the evening ST appearance at the point of observations, but at the moment of the evening ST passage in the magneto-conjugate point. The obtained results are the first experimental evidence for the hypothesis of the ST-generated ion sound waves.

    E.L. Afraimovich, I.K. Edemskiy, S.V. Voeykov, Yu.V. Yasukevich, I.V. Zhivetiev. Spatio-temporal structure of the wave packets generated by the solar terminator. //Advances in Space Research (ASR), 2009, doi:10.1016/j.asr.2009.05.017.