Space Science Reviews

, 216:4 | Cite as

Diffuse and Pulsating Aurora

  • Yukitoshi NishimuraEmail author
  • Marc R. Lessard
  • Yuto Katoh
  • Yoshizumi Miyoshi
  • Eric Grono
  • Noora Partamies
  • Nithin Sivadas
  • Keisuke Hosokawa
  • Mizuki Fukizawa
  • Marilia Samara
  • Robert G. Michell
  • Ryuho Kataoka
  • Takeshi Sakanoi
  • Daniel K. Whiter
  • Shin-ichiro Oyama
  • Yasunobu Ogawa
  • Satoshi Kurita
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Auroral Physics


This chapter reviews fundamental properties and recent advances of diffuse and pulsating aurora. Diffuse and pulsating aurora often occurs on closed field lines and involves energetic electron precipitation by wave-particle interaction. After summarizing the definition, large-scale morphology, types of pulsation, and driving processes, we review observation techniques, occurrence, duration, altitude, evolution, small-scale structures, fast modulation, relation to high-energy precipitation, the role of ECH waves, reflected and secondary electrons, ionosphere dynamics, and simulation of wave-particle interaction. Finally we discuss open questions of diffuse and pulsating aurora.


Pulsating aurora Diffuse aurora Wave-particle interaction Whistler-mode chorus Energetic electron precipitation 



The work of Y.N. was supported by NASA grant NNX17AL22G and 80NSSC18K0657, NSF grants PLR-1341359, AGS-1737823, and AFOSR FA9559-16-1-0364. The work by NP was supported by the Research Council of Norway under CoE contract 223252. Y.K., Y.M., and K.H. are supported by JSPS Kakenhi (15H05747). Y.K, and Y.M are supported by JSPS Kakenhi (15H05815). Y.M is supported by JSPS Kakenhi (16H06286). Y.K is supported by JSPS Kakenhi (18H03727). Y.K., Y.M., and K.H. are supported by the International Space Science Institutes Beijing (ISSI-BJ) International Team program. The work of NS was supported by NASA Earth & Space Science Fellowship Program grant 80NSSC17K0433. The THEMIS mission and all-sky imagers are supported by NASA contract NAS5-02099, CSA contract 9F007-046101 and NSF grant AGS-1004736. ML was supported by NASA grant 80NSSC18K0950. DKW was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) of the UK under grant NE/N004051/1. The PWING imager was installed and operated by the pulsating aurora project ( and PWING project (

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yukitoshi Nishimura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marc R. Lessard
    • 2
  • Yuto Katoh
    • 3
  • Yoshizumi Miyoshi
    • 4
  • Eric Grono
    • 5
  • Noora Partamies
    • 6
    • 7
  • Nithin Sivadas
    • 1
  • Keisuke Hosokawa
    • 8
  • Mizuki Fukizawa
    • 3
  • Marilia Samara
    • 9
  • Robert G. Michell
    • 9
    • 10
  • Ryuho Kataoka
    • 11
    • 12
  • Takeshi Sakanoi
    • 3
  • Daniel K. Whiter
    • 13
  • Shin-ichiro Oyama
    • 14
    • 15
    • 4
  • Yasunobu Ogawa
    • 11
    • 12
  • Satoshi Kurita
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Center for Space PhysicsBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Space Science CenterUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Institute for Space Earth Environmental ResearchNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  6. 6.Department of Arctic GeophysicsThe University Centre in SvalbardLongyearbyenNorway
  7. 7.Birkeland Centre for Space ScienceBergenNorway
  8. 8.Department of Communication Engineering and InformaticsUniversity of Electro-CommunicationsTokyoJapan
  9. 9.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  10. 10.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  11. 11.National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR)TachikawaJapan
  12. 12.SOKENDAITachikawaJapan
  13. 13.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  14. 14.National Institute of Polar ResearchTokyoJapan
  15. 15.Space Physics and Astronomy Research UnitUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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