4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102
Dr. Toshi Nishimura (UCLA)
Aurora, optical emissions in the upper polar atmosphere, reflect a variety of space phenomena around the Earth, and thus optical observations can be used for remote sensing of the space environment. Auroral phenomena are not only important for Space Physics but also impact human society with affects on radio communication and satellite operation during large space weather events. This talk will firstly introduce a few examples of those, and then present recent progress in auroral research particularly on the following two science questions: (1) what is the physics of precursors to auroral substorm onset? (2) How does fast plasma transport play a role in the magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupled system? Results from auroral imaging, radars and satellites emphasize that transient flows from dayside to nightside are important for driving nightside aurora. This finding has been validated by a global simulation and has provided a possibility of predicting nightside auroral responses much earlier than possible previously. Finally, I will describe my future research plans toward understanding and predicting responses of the magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere system during space weather events.