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Found 4 entries in the Bibliography.

Showing entries from 1 through 4


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


On the Formation of Wedge-Like Ion Spectral Structures in the Nightside Inner Magnetosphere

Recent observations in the nightside inner magnetosphere have identified a series of wedge-like spectral structures in the energy-time spectrograms of oxygen, helium, and hydrogen ion fluxes. Although the shapes and distributions of these structures have been characterized by case and statistical studies, their formation mechanism remains unclear. Here we utilize a particle tracing model to reproduce the wedge-like structures successively observed by the twin Van Allen Probes. The model suggests that these structures originate from intermittent substorm injection, and it is the accessibility region of these injected ions that determines their shapes. This mechanism is similar to the formation of another kind of structures, the inner magnetospheric nose-like structures, except that the wedge-like structures are separated from the tail population by the discontinuation of ion injections. This scenario is also supported by the distribution statistics of wedge-like structures, which provides new insights into the dynamics of the magnetotail-inner magnetosphere coupled system.

Zhou, Xu-Zhi; Ren, Jie; Yang, Fan; Yue, Chao; Zong, Qiu-Gang; Fu, Sui-Yan; Wang, Yongfu;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 11/2020

YEAR: 2020     DOI:

wedge-like structure; inner magnetosphere; substorm injection; magnetospheric convection; ring current; magnetotail; Van Allen Probes


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


Testing a two-loop pattern of the substorm current wedge (SCW2L)

Recent quantitative testing of the classical (region 1 sense) substorm current wedge (SCI) model revealed systematic discrepancies between the observed and predicted amplitudes, which suggested us to include additional region 2 sense currents (R2 loop) earthward of the dipolarized region (SCW2L model). Here we discuss alternative circuit geometries of the 3-D substorm current system and interpret observations of the magnetic field dipolarizations made between 6.6RE and 11RE, to quantitatively investigate the SCW2L model parameters. During two cases of a dipole-like magnetotail configuration, the dipolarization/injection front fortuitously stopped at r ~ 9RE for the entire duration of ~ 30 min long SCW-related dipolarization within a unique, radially distributed multispacecraft constellation, which allowed us to determine the locations and total currents of both SCW2L loops. In addition, we analyzed the dipolarization amplitudes in events, simultaneously observed at 6.6RE, 11RE and at colatitudes under a wide range of magnetograph conditions. We infer that the ratio I2/I1 varies in the range 0.2 to 0.6 (median value 0.4) and that the equatorial part of the R2 current loop stays at r>6.6RE in the case of a dipole-like field geometry (BZ0>75 nT at 6.6RE prior to the onset), but it is located at r<6.6RE in the case of a stretched magnetic field configuration (with BZ0<60 nT). Since the ground midlatitude perturbations are sensitive to the combined effect of the R1 and R2 sense current loops with the net current roughly equal to I1-I2, the ratio I2/I1 becomes an important issue when attempting to monitor the current disruption intensity from ground observations.

Sergeev, V.; Nikolaev, A.; Tsyganenko, N.; Angelopoulos, V.; Runov, A.; Singer, H.; Yang, J.;

Published by: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics      Published on: 02/2014

YEAR: 2014     DOI: 10.1002/2013JA019629

injections; magnetotail; substorm current wedge; substorms