Exohiss is a low-frequency structureless whistler-mode emission potentially contributing to the precipitation loss of radiation belt electrons outside the plasmasphere. Exohiss is usually considered the plasmaspheric hiss leaked out of the dayside plasmapause. However, the evolution of exohiss after the leakage has not been fully understood. Here we report the prompt enhancements of exohiss waves following substorm injections observed by Van Allen Probes. Within several minutes, the energetic electron fluxes around 100 keV were enhanced by up to 5 times, accompanied by an up to 10-time increase of the exohiss wave power. These substorm-injected electrons are shown to produce a new peak of linear growth rate in the exohiss band (< 0.1fce). The corresponding path-integrated growth rate of wave power within 10° latitude of the magnetic equatorial plane can reach 13.4, approximately explaining the observed enhancement of exohiss waves. These observations and simulations suggest that the substorm-injected energetic electrons could amplify the preexisting exohiss waves.
The activities of geomagnetic storms are generally controlled by solar activities. The current solar cycle (SC) 24 is found to be mild; compared to SCs 19–23, the storm occurrence and size derived by averaging the occurrence number and Dst around the solar maximum are reduced by about 50–82% and 36–61%, respectively. We estimate separately, for SC 19 to 24, the repeat intervals between geomagnetic storms of specific Dst, based on fits of power-law and log-normal distributions to the storm data for each SC. Repeat intervals between super geomagnetic storms with Dst≤–250 nT are found to be 0.36–2.95 year(s) for SCs 19–23, but about 20 years based on the data for SC 24. We also estimate the repeat intervals between coronal mass ejections (CMEs) of specific speed (VCME) since CMEs are known to be the main drivers of intense storms and the related statistics may provide information about the potential occurrence of super geomagnetic storms from the location of the Sun. Our analysis finds that a CME with VCME≥1860 km/s may occur once per 3 and 5 months in SC 23 and 24, respectively. Based on a VCME-Dst relationship, such a fast CME may cause a storm with Dst=–250 nT if arriving at the Earth. By comparing the observed geomagnetic storms to storms expected to be caused by CMEs, we derive the probability of CME caused storms, which is dependent on VCME. For a CME faster than 1860 km/s, the probability of a CME caused storm with Dst≤–250 nT is about 1/5 for SC 23 or 1/25 for SC 24. All of the above results suggest that the likelihood of the occurrence of super geomagnetic storms is significantly reduced in a mild SC.
The present issue of Earth and Planetary Physics is dedicated to the near-space neutral and plasma environments of Mars. The issue includes nine papers that present new results on the properties of the Martian exosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere, from both observational and modeling points of view. Due to the similarity between the two objects, the issue also includes two additional papers on the near-Venus plasma environment.
Forbush decreases are depressions in the galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) that are caused primarily by modulations of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) but also occasionally by stream/corotating interaction regions (SIRs/CIRs). Forbush decreases have been studied extensively using neutron monitors at Earth; recently, for the first time, they have been measured on the surface of another planet, Mars, by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on board the Mars Science Laboratory’s (MSL) rover Curiosity. The modulation of GCR particles by heliospheric transients in space is energy-dependent; afterwards, these particles interact with the Martian atmosphere, the interaction process depending on particle type and energy. In order to use ground-measured Forbush decreases to study the space weather environment near Mars, it is important to understand and quantify the energy-dependent modulation of the GCR particles by not only the pass-by heliospheric disturbances but also by the Martian atmosphere. Accordingly, this study presents a model that quantifies — both at the Martian surface and in the interplanetary space near Mars — the amplitudes of Forbush decreases at Mars during the pass-by of an ICME/SIR by combining the heliospheric modulation of GCRs with the atmospheric modification of such modulated GCR spectra. The modeled results are in good agreement with measurements of Forbush decreases caused by ICMEs/SIRs based on data collected by MSL on the surface of Mars and by the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft in orbit. Our model and these findings support the validity of both the Forbush decrease description and Martian atmospheric transport models.