** Progress in Earth and Planetary Science is the official journal of the Japan Geoscience Union, published in collaboration with its 50 society members.

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    • Progress in Earth and Planetary Science
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    Progress in Earth and Planetary Science

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    Daytime F-region irregularity triggered by rocket-induced ionospheric hole over low latitude

    Li G, Ning B, Abdu M A, Wang C, Otsuka Y, Wan W, Lei J, Nishioka M, Tsugawa T, Hu L, Yang G, Yan C

    Daytime F-region irregularity, Ionospheric hole, Rocket exhaust

    Schematic diagram showing the generation of plasma density hole and irregularity in the daytime ionosphere after the passage of a rocket.

    Unexpected daytime F-region irregularities following the appearance of an ionospheric hole have been observed over low latitude. The irregularities developed initially above the F-region peak height (~ 360 km) with a thickness of about 30 km and an east-west extension of more than 200 km around 1057 LT and then expanded upward to 500 km altitude behaving like the equatorial spread-F (ESF) irregularities of the nighttime ionosphere. These daytime F-region irregularities cannot be explained on basis of an earlier suggestion that the F-region irregularities observed during daytime are the continuation of the irregularities initially generated on the previous night. Based on the coincidence, both in space and time, with the appearance of an ionospheric hole, which was generated after the passage of a rocket, we conclude that the daytime F-region irregularities must have been artificially generated locally through a manifestation of plasma instability triggered by the rocket exhaust-induced ionospheric hole over low latitude.