Electrodynamics of the Ionosphere/Magnetosphere/Solar Wind System at High Latitudes

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Abstract

Within the region threaded by magnetic field lines from the polar cap, the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere manifests itself primarily in the structure of magnetic and electric fields, which then provide the electromagnetic boundary conditions for the ionosphere as well as for the lower-latitude particle-dominated regions, the auroral oval and the plasma sheet. The basic physical processes are thought to be understood, at least qualitatively, but many unknown and/or controversial aspects remain, particularly concerning the configuration in the case of northward interplanetary magnetic field.