AURORA on Earth

Photo Credit: Jan Curtis, UAF, GI
Proton Precipitation
into the Atmosphere


JGR Proton Special Section
Organizer:  Marina Galand  [mgaland at]
January 2001 issue

AURORA on Earth

Photo Credit: Jan Curtis, UAF, GI

Why a Proton Special Section?

Since publication of the review papers on proton precipitation by Eather [1967] and McNeal and Birely [1973], tremendous progress has been made in modeling as well as on instrumental performance, and the interest in proton precipitation has been getting stronger (e.g., see CEDAR 1999 Proton Workshop). Consequently, it is time to emphasize the role of energetic protons in the atmosphere to the ionospheric and magnetospheric communities.  In addition, a review of proton studies is all the more timely, since very recent and future missions (e.g., Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE), Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED), National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)) are expected to acquire relevant data on proton aurora in the years ahead.

The purpose of this special section of the Journal of Geophysical Research is to provide a forum for an overview of the current state of the field and to open a discussion of remaining questions that address the need for future studies.  Based on the CEDAR 99 proton workshop, the different subjects discussed here are the following: the origin and characteristics of the incident protons, H emission observations and analysis, the modeling of proton transport in the atmosphere, and the coordinated observations of proton aurora.

List of the papers by subjects: 
(publication in JGR-Space Physics issue, Vol. 106, January 2001)

Galand, M.,
Introduction to special section: Proton precipitation  into the atmosphere.

  • Incident Energetic H+ and H Fluxes Precipitating Into the Atmosphere
Jordanova, V. K., C. J. Farrugia, R. M. Thorne, G. V. Khazanov, G. D. Reeves, and M. F. Thomsen,
Modeling ring current proton precipitation by electromagnetic ion cyclotron waves during the May 14-16, 1997, storm.
  • Indirect Measurements of Proton Precipitation: H Emissions
Lummerzheim, D., and M. Galand,
The profile of the hydrogen Hb emission line in proton aurora.

Deehr, C., and D. Lummerzheim,
Ground-based optical observations of hydrogen emission in the auroral substorm.

Takahashi, Y., and H. Fukunishi,
The dynamics of the proton aurora in auroral breakup events.

Strickland, D. J., J. Bishop, J. S. Evans, T. Majeed, R. J. Cox, D. Morrison, G. J. Romick, J. F. Carbary, L. J. Paxton, and C.-I. Meng,
Midcourse Space Experiment/Ultra-violet and Visible Imaging and Spectrographic Imaging, limb observations of combined proton/hydrogen/electron aurora.

Share, G. H., and R. J. Murphy,
Atmospheric gamma rays from solar energetic particles and cosmic rays penetrating the magnetosphere.

  • Modeling: Proton Transport in the Atmosphere
Basu, B., D. T. Decker, and J. R. Jasperse,
Proton transport model: A review.

Solomon, S. C.,
Auroral particle transport using Monte Carlo and hybrid method.

Galand, M., and A. D. Richmond,
Ionospheric electrical conductances produced by auroral proton precipitation.

Galand, M., T. J. Fuller-Rowell, and M. V. Codrescu,
Response of the upper atmosphere to auroral protons.

  • Coordinated Experiments
Lummerzheim, D., M. Galand, J. Semeter, M. J. Mendillo, M. H. Rees, and 
F. J. Rich,
Emission of OI(630 nm) in proton aurora.

Patterson, J. D., T. P. Armstrong, C. M. Laird, D. L. Detrick, and 
A. T. Weatherwax,
Correlation of solar energetic protons and polar cap absorption.

  • Extension to the Solar System
Kallio, E., and S. Barabash,
Atmospheric effects of precipitating energetic hydrogen atoms on the Martian atmosphere.

If you have any question concerning the proton special section, please contact: Marina Galand at mgaland at

For more information about the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR-Space Physics) and its special sections, visit the JGR Homepage.