Multipoint observations of energetic particle injections and substorm activity during a conjunction between Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) and Van Allen Probes
This study examines multipoint observations during a conjunction between MMS and Van Allen Probes on 07 April 2016 in which a series of energetic particle injections occurred. With complementary data from THEMIS, Geotail, and LANL-GEO (16 spacecraft in total), we develop new insights on the nature of energetic particle injections associated with substorm activity. Despite this case involving only weak substorm activity (max. AE < 300 nT) during quiet geomagnetic conditions in steady, below-average solar wind, a complex series of at least six different electron injections was observed throughout the system. Intriguingly, only one corresponding ion injection was clearly observed. All ion and electron injections were observed at < 600 keV only. MMS reveals detailed substructure within the largest electron injection. A relationship between injected electrons with energy < 60 keV and enhanced whistler-mode chorus wave activity is also established from Van Allen Probes and MMS. Drift mapping using a simplified magnetic field model provides estimates of the dispersionless injection boundary locations as a function of universal time, magnetic local time, and L-shell. The analysis reveals that at least five electron injections, which were localized in magnetic local time, preceded a larger injection of both electrons and ions across nearly the entire nightside of the magnetosphere near geosynchronous orbit. The larger, ion and electron injection did not penetrate to L < 6.6, but several of the smaller, electron injections penetrated to L < 6.6. Due to the discrepancy between the number, penetration depth, and complexity of electron vs. ion injections, this event presents challenges to the current conceptual models of energetic particle injections.
|Year of Publication||
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics