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Found 10 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 10


Can Earth’s magnetotail plasma sheet produce a source of relativistic electrons for the radiation belts?

Abstract Simultaneous observations from Van Allen Probes (RBSP) in Earth’s outer radiation belt (∼4-6 RE) and Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) in the magnetotail plasma sheet at >20 RE geocentric distance are used to compare relative levels of relativistic electron phase space density (PSD) for constant values of the first adiabatic invariant, M. We present new evidence from two events showing: i) at times, there is sufficient PSD in the central plasma sheet to provide a source of >1 MeV electrons into the outer belt; ii) the most intense levels of relativistic electrons are not accelerated in the solar wind or transported from the inner magnetosphere and thus must be accelerated rapidly (within ∼minutes or less) and efficiently across a broad region of the magnetotail itself; and iii) the highest intensity relativistic electrons observed by MMS were confined within only the central plasma sheet. The answer to the title question here is: yes, it can, however whether Earth’s plasma sheet actually does provide a source of several 100s keV to >1 MeV electrons to the outer belt and how often it does so remain important outstanding questions.

Turner, Drew; Cohen, Ian; Michael, Adam; Sorathia, Kareem; Merkin, Slava; Mauk, Barry; Ukhorskiy, Sasha; Murphy, Kyle; Gabrielse, Christine; Boyd, Alexander; Fennell, Joseph; Blake, Bernard; Claudepierre, Seth; Drozdov, Alexander; Jaynes, Allison; Ripoll, Jean-Francois; Reeves, Geoffrey;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 09/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Radiation belts; plasma sheet; Particle acceleration; relativistic electrons; inner magnetosphere; magnetotail; Van Allen Probes

Reconstruction of the Radiation Belts for Solar Cycles 17 – 24 (1933 – 2017)

AbstractWe present a reconstruction of the dynamics of the radiation belts from Solar Cycles 17 – 24 which allows us to study how radiation belt activity has varied between the different solar cycles. The radiation belt simulations are produced using the Versatile Electron Radiation Belt (VERB)-3D code. The VERB-3D code simulations incorporate radial, energy, and pitch angle diffusion to reproduce the radiation belts. Our simulations use the historical measurements of Kp (available since Solar Cycle 17, i.e., 1933) to model the evolution radiation belt dynamics between L* = 1 – 6.6. A nonlinear auto regressive network with exogenous inputs (NARX) neural network was trained off GOES 15 measurements (Jan. 2011 – March 2014) and used to supply the upper boundary condition (L* = 6.6) over the course of Solar Cycles 17 – 24 (i.e., 1933 – 2017). Comparison of the model with long term observations of the Van Allen Probes and CRRES demonstrates that our model, driven by the NARX boundary, can reconstruct the general evolution of the radiation belt fluxes. Solar Cycle 24 (Jan 2008 – 2017) has been the least active of the considered solar cycles which resulted in unusually low electron fluxes. Our results show that Solar Cycle 24 should not be used as a representative solar cycle for developing long term environment models. The developed reconstruction of fluxes can be used to develop or improve empirical models of the radiation belts.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Saikin, A.; Shprits, Y; Drozdov, A; Landis, D.; Zhelavskaya, I.; Cervantes, S.;

Published by: Space Weather      Published on: 02/2021

YEAR: 2021     DOI:

Radiation belts; numerical modeling; Particle acceleration; Magnetosphere: inner; forecasting; Van Allen Probes


Particle Dynamics in the Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belts: Review of Current Research and Open Questions

The past decade transformed our observational understanding of energetic particle processes in near-Earth space. An unprecedented suite of observational systems were in operation including the Van Allen Probes, Arase, MMS, THEMIS, Cluster, GPS, GOES, and LANL-GEO magnetospheric missions. They were supported by conjugate low-altitude measurements on spacecraft, balloons, and ground-based arrays. Together these significantly improved our ability to determine and quantify the mechanisms that control the build-up and subsequent variability of energetic particle intensities in the inner magnetosphere. The high-quality data from NASA\textquoterights Van Allen Probes are the most comprehensive in-situ measurements ever taken in the near-Earth space radiation environment. These observations, coupled with recent advances in radiation belt theory and modeling, including dramatic increases in computational power, has ushered in a new era, perhaps a \textquotedblleftgolden era,\textquotedblright in radiation belt research. We have edited a Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Science Special Collection dedicated to Particle Dynamics in the Earth\textquoterights Radiation Belts in which we gather the most recent scientific findings and understanding of this important region of geospace. This collection includes the results presented at the American Geophysical Union Chapman International Conference in Cascais, Portugal (03/2018) and many other recent and relevant contributions. The present article introduces and review the context, current research, and main questions that motivate modern radiation belt research divided into the following topics: (1) particle acceleration and transport, (2) particle loss, (3) the role of nonlinear processes, (4) new radiation belt modeling capabilities and the quantification of model uncertainties, and (5) laboratory plasma experiments.

Ripoll, Jean-Francois; Claudepierre, Seth; Ukhorskiy, Sasha; Colpitts, Chris; Li, Xinlin; Fennell, Joe; Crabtree, Chris;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 12/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2019JA026735

inner magnetosphere; laboratory plasma experiments; Particle acceleration; particle loss; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes

Earth\textquoterights Van Allen Radiation Belts: From Discovery to the Van Allen Probes Era

Discovery of the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen radiation belts by instruments flown on Explorer 1 in 1958 was the first major discovery of the Space Age. The observation of distinct inner and outer zones of trapped megaelectron volt (MeV) particles, primarily protons at low altitude and electrons at high altitude, led to early models for source and loss mechanisms including Cosmic Ray Albedo Neutron Decay for inner zone protons, radial diffusion for outer zone electrons and loss to the atmosphere due to pitch angle scattering. This scattering lowers the mirror altitude for particles in their bounce motion parallel to the Earth\textquoterights magnetic field until they suffer collisional loss. A view of the belts as quasi-static inner and outer zones of energetic particles with different sources was modified by observations made during the Solar Cycle 22 maximum in solar activity over 1989\textendash1991. The dynamic variability of outer zone electrons was measured by the Combined Radiation Release and Effects Satellite launched in July 1990. This variability is caused by distinct types of heliospheric structure that vary with the solar cycle. The launch of the twin Van Allen Probes in August 2012 has provided much longer and more comprehensive measurements during the declining phase of Solar Cycle 24. Roughly half of moderate geomagnetic storms, determined by intensity of the ring current carried mostly by protons at hundreds of kiloelectron volts, produce an increase in trapped relativistic electron flux in the outer zone. Mechanisms for accelerating electrons of hundreds of electron volts stored in the tail region of the magnetosphere to MeVenergies in the trapping region are described in this review: prompt and diffusive radial transport and local acceleration driven by magnetospheric waves. Such waves also produce pitch angle scattering loss, as does outward radial transport, enhanced when the magnetosphere is compressed. While quasilinear simulations have been used to successfully reproduce many essential features of the radiation belt particle dynamics, nonlinear wave-particle interactions are found to be potentially important for causing more rapid particle acceleration or precipitation. The findings on the fundamental physics of the Van Allen radiation belts potentially provide insights into understanding energetic particle dynamics at other magnetized planets in the solar system, exoplanets throughout the universe, and in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. Computational radiation belt models have improved dramatically, particularly in the Van Allen Probes era, and assimilative forecasting of the state of the radiation belts has become more feasible. Moreover, machine learning techniques have been developed to specify and predict the state of the Van Allen radiation belts. Given the potential Space Weather impact of radiation belt variability on technological systems, these new radiation belt models are expected to play a critical role in our technological society in the future as much as meteorological models do today.

Li, W.; Hudson, M.K.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2019

YEAR: 2019     DOI: 10.1029/2018JA025940

Particle acceleration; particle loss; particle transport; Radiation belts; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions


Nonlinear drift resonance between charged particles and ultra-low frequency waves: Theory and Observations

In Earth\textquoterights inner magnetosphere, electromagnetic waves in the ultra-low frequency (ULF) range play an important role in accelerating and diffusing charged particles via drift resonance. In conventional drift-resonance theory, linearization is applied under the assumption of weak wave-particle energy exchange so particle trajectories are unperturbed. For ULF waves with larger amplitudes and/or durations, however, the conventional theory becomes inaccurate since particle trajectories are strongly perturbed. Here, we extend the drift-resonance theory into a nonlinear regime, to formulate nonlinear trapping of particles in a wave-carried potential well, and predict the corresponding observable signatures such as rolled-up structures in particle energy spectrum. After considering how this manifests in particle data with finite energy resolution, we compare the predicted signatures with Van Allen Probes observations. Their good agreement provides the first observational evidence for the occurrence of nonlinear drift resonance, highlighting the importance of nonlinear effects in magnetospheric particle dynamics under ULF waves.

Li, Li; Zhou, Xu-Zhi; Omura, Yoshiharu; Wang, Zi-Han; Zong, Qiu-Gang; Liu, Ying; Hao, Yi-Xin; Fu, Sui-Yan; Kivelson, Margaret; Rankin, Robert; Claudepierre, Seth; Wygant, John;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2018

YEAR: 2018     DOI: 10.1029/2018GL079038

drift resonance; nonlinear process; Particle acceleration; Radiation belts; ULF waves; Van Allen Probes; wave-particle interactions


Energy limits of electron acceleration in the plasma sheet during substorms: A case study with the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission

We present multipoint observations of earthward moving dipolarization fronts and energetic particle injections from NASA\textquoterights Magnetospheric Multiscale mission with a focus on electron acceleration. From a case study during a substorm on 02 August 2015, we find that electrons are only accelerated over a finite energy range, from a lower energy threshold at ~7\textendash9 keV up to an upper energy cutoff in the hundreds of keV range. At energies lower than the threshold energy, electron fluxes decrease, potentially due to precipitation by strong parallel electrostatic wavefields or initial sources in the lobes. Electrons at energies higher than the threshold are accelerated cumulatively by a series of impulsive magnetic dipolarization events. This case demonstrates how the upper energy cutoff increases, in this case from ~130 keV to >500 keV, with each dipolarization/injection during sustained activity. We also present a simple model accounting for these energy limits that reveals that electron energization is dominated by betatron acceleration.

Turner, D.; Fennell, J.; Blake, J.; Clemmons, J.; Mauk, B.; Cohen, I.; Jaynes, A.; Craft, J.; Wilder, F.; Baker, D.; Reeves, G.; Gershman, D.; Avanov, L.; Dorelli, J.; Giles, B.; Pollock, C.; Schmid, D.; Nakamura, R.; Strangeway, R.; Russell, C.; Artemyev, A.; Runov, A.; Angelopoulos, V.; Spence, H.; Torbert, R.; Burch, J.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 08/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069691

energetic particle injections; magnetotail; Particle acceleration; plasma sheet; reconnection; substorm; Van Allen Probes

Dipolarizing flux bundles in the cis-geosynchronous magnetosphere: relationship between electric fields and energetic particle injections

Dipolarizing flux bundles (DFBs) are small flux tubes (typically < 3 RE in XGSM and YGSM) in the nightside magnetosphere that have magnetic field more dipolar than the background. Although DFBs are known to accelerate particles, creating energetic particle injections outside geosynchronous orbit (trans-GEO), the nature of the acceleration mechanism and the importance of DFBs in generating injections inside geosynchronous orbit (cis-GEO) are unclear. Our statistical study of cis-GEO DFBs using data from the Van Allen Probes reveals that just like trans-GEO DFBs, cis-GEO DFBs occur most often in the pre-midnight sector, but their occurrence rate is ~1/3 that of trans-GEO DFBs. Half the cis-GEO DFBs are accompanied by an energetic particle injection and have an electric field three times stronger than that of the injectionless half. All DFB injections are dispersionless within the temporal resolution considered (11 seconds). Our findings suggest that these injections are ushered or produced locally by the DFB, and the DFB\textquoterights strong electric field is an important aspect of the injection generation mechanism.

Liu, Jiang; Angelopoulos, V.; Zhang, Xiao-Jia; Turner, D.; Gabrielse, C.; Runov, A.; Li, Jinxing; Funsten, H.; Spence, H.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 01/2016

YEAR: 2016     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021691

dipolarization front; dipolarizing flux bundle; energetic particle injection; geosynchronous orbit; magnetic storm; Particle acceleration


Formation process of relativistic electron flux through interaction with chorus emissions in the Earth\textquoterights inner magnetosphere

We perform test particle simulations of energetic electrons interacting with whistler mode chorus emissions. We compute trajectories of a large number of electrons forming a delta function with the same energy and equatorial pitch angle. The electrons are launched at different locations along the magnetic field line and different timings with respect to a pair of chorus emissions generated at the magnetic equator. We follow the evolution of the delta function and obtain a distribution function in energy and equatorial pitch angle, which is a numerical Green\textquoterights function for one cycle of chorus wave-particle interaction. We obtain the Green\textquoterights functions for the energy range 10 keV\textendash6 MeV and all pitch angles greater than the loss cone angle. By taking the convolution integral of the Green\textquoterights functions with the distribution function of the injected electrons repeatedly, we follow a long-time evolution of the distribution function. We find that the energetic electrons are accelerated effectively by relativistic turning acceleration and ultrarelativistic acceleration through nonlinear trapping by chorus emissions. Further, these processes result in the rapid formation of a dumbbell distribution of highly relativistic electrons within a few minutes after the onset of the continuous injection of 10\textendash30 keV electrons.

Omura, Yoshiharu; Miyashita, Yu; Yoshikawa, Masato; Summers, Danny; Hikishima, Mitsuru; Ebihara, Yusuke; Kubota, Yuko;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015JA021563

Chorus; nonlinear wave-particle interaction; Particle acceleration; Radiation belts; relativistic electrons; simulation

The development of a bursty precipitation front with intense localized parallel electric fields driven by whistler waves

The dynamics and structure of whistler turbulence relevant to electron acceleration in the Earth\textquoterights outer radiation belt is explored with simulations and comparisons with observations. An initial state with an electron temperature anisotropy in a spatially localized domain drives whistlers which scatter electrons. An outward propagating front of whistlers and hot electrons nonlinearly evolves to form regions of intense parallel electric field with structure similar to observations. The precipitating hot electrons propagate away from the source region in intense bunches rather than as a smooth flux.

Drake, J.; Agapitov, O.; Mozer, F.;

Published by: Geophysical Research Letters      Published on: 03/2015

YEAR: 2015     DOI: 10.1002/2015GL063528

Earth\textquoterights Outer Radiation Belts; Parallel electric fields; Particle acceleration; Precipitating electrons


The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) Investigation and the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) for the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) Investigation is one of 5 fields-and-particles investigations on the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. MMS comprises 4 spacecraft flying in close formation in highly elliptical, near-Earth-equatorial orbits targeting understanding of the fundamental physics of the important physical process called magnetic reconnection using Earth\textquoterights magnetosphere as a plasma laboratory. EPD comprises two sensor types, the Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) with one instrument on each of the 4 spacecraft, and the Fly\textquoterights Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) with 2 instruments on each of the 4 spacecraft. EIS measures energetic ion energy, angle and elemental compositional distributions from a required low energy limit of 20 keV for protons and 45 keV for oxygen ions, up to >0.5 MeV (with capabilities to measure up to >1 MeV). FEEPS measures instantaneous all sky images of energetic electrons from 25 keV to >0.5 MeV, and also measures total ion energy distributions from 45 keV to >0.5 MeV to be used in conjunction with EIS to measure all sky ion distributions. In this report we describe the EPD investigation and the details of the EIS sensor. Specifically we describe EPD-level science objectives, the science and measurement requirements, and the challenges that the EPD team had in meeting these requirements. Here we also describe the design and operation of the EIS instruments, their calibrated performances, and the EIS in-flight and ground operations. Blake et al. (The Flys Eye Energetic Particle Spectrometer (FEEPS) contribution to the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) investigation of the Magnetospheric Magnetoscale (MMS) Mission, this issue) describe the design and operation of the FEEPS instruments, their calibrated performances, and the FEEPS in-flight and ground operations. The MMS spacecraft will launch in early 2015, and over its 2-year mission will provide comprehensive measurements of magnetic reconnection at Earth\textquoterights magnetopause during the 18 months that comprise orbital phase 1, and magnetic reconnection within Earth\textquoterights magnetotail during the about 6 months that comprise orbital phase 2.

Mauk, B.; Blake, J.; Baker, D.; Clemmons, J.; Reeves, G.; Spence, H.; Jaskulek, S.; Schlemm, C.; Brown, L.; Cooper, S.; Craft, J.; Fennell, J.; Gurnee, R.; Hammock, C.; Hayes, J.; Hill, P.; Ho, G.; Hutcheson, J.; Jacques, A.; Kerem, S.; Mitchell, D.; Nelson, K.; Paschalidis, N.; Rossano, E.; Stokes, M.; Westlake, J.;

Published by: Space Science Reviews      Published on: 06/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0055-5

Magnetic reconnection; Magnetosphere; Magnetospheric multiscale; NASA mission; Particle acceleration; Space plasma