We report rapid motion of pulsating auroras associated with so called 3 ± 1 Hz modulations embedded in the main pulsations. During the pulsation ON phase, repetitive expansions are often observed around the edges of pulsating patches. Some events show a few detached expansions traveling away from the main deformed pulsating patch. Approximately 80% of all expansion speeds were found to be less than 70 km s−1 at ionospheric altitudes, which is less than the projected Alfvén speed from the magnetospheric equator to the ionosphere. The rapid motions with speeds of tens of km s−1 are unlikely to be explained by obliquely propagating chorus elements, which are known to cause the 3 ± 1 Hz modulation, because the perpendicular speed of the oblique chorus waves is higher than the Alfvén speed. We discuss the slow-mode Alfvén wave as a candidate modulation source to generate the rapid motions. A few non-repetitive expansion events with a speed of more than 150 km s−1 also appear at the onset of the ON phase. These non-repetitive expanding motions are characterized by a long displacement compared to the repetitive expanding motions. The differences in the expansion speeds indicate different formation mechanisms of the patch motions.
- High-speed imaging
- Pulsating aurora
- Wave-particle interactions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)