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The Effect of Compression Induced Chorus Waves on 10s to 100s eV Electron Precipitation
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  • Alexa J. Halford,
  • Katherine Garcia-Sage,
  • Ian Mann,
  • Drew L. Turner,
  • Aaron Breneman
Alexa J. Halford
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Corresponding Author:alexa.j.halford@nasa.gov

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Katherine Garcia-Sage
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Ian Mann
University of Alberta
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Drew L. Turner
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
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Aaron Breneman
The University of Minnesota
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On 7 January 2014, a solar storm erupted, which eventually compressed the Earth’s magnetosphere leading to the generation of chorus waves. These waves enhanced local wave-particle interactions and led to the precipitation of electrons from 10s eV to 100s keV. This paper shows observations of a low energy cutoff in the precipitation spectrum from Van Allen Probe B Helium Oxygen Proton Electron (HOPE) measurements. This low energy cutoff is well replicated by the predicted loss calculated from pitch angle diffusion coefficients from wave and plasma observations on Probe B. To our knowledge, this is the first time a single spacecraft has been used to demonstrate an accurate theoretical prediction for chorus wave-induced precipitation and its low energy cutoff. The specific properties of the precipitating soft electron spectrum have implications for ionospheric activity, with the lowest energies mainly contributing to thermospheric and ionospheric upwelling, which influences satellite drag and ionospheric outflow.