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Conjugate observation of sharp dynamical boundary in the inner magnetosphere by Cluster and DMSP spacecraft and ground network
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2008 (English)In: Annales Geophysicae, ISSN 0992-7689, E-ISSN 1432-0576, Vol. 26, no 9, 2771-2780 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigate an unusual sharp boundary separating two plasma populations (inner magnetospheric plasma with high fluxes of energetic particles and plasma sheet) observed by the Cluster quartet near its perigee on 16 December 2003. Cluster was in a pearl-on-string configuration at 05:00 MLT and mapped along magnetic field lines to similar to 8-9 R-E in the equatorial plane. It was conjugate to the MIRACLE network and the DMSP F16 spacecraft passed close to Cluster footpoint. The properties of the sharp boundary, repeatedly crossed 7 times by five spacecraft during similar to 10 min, are: (1) upward FAC sheet at the boundary with similar to 30 nA/m(2) current density at Cluster and similar to 2000 nA/m(2) at DMSP; (2) the boundary had an embedded layered structure with different thickness scales, the electron population transition was at similar to 20 km scale at Cluster (<7 km at DMSP), proton population had a scale similar to 100 km, while the FAC sheet thickness was estimated to be similar to 500 km at Cluster (similar to 100 km at DMSP); (3) the boundary propagated in the earthward-eastward direction at similar to 8 km/s in situ (equatorward-eastward similar to 0.8 km/s in ionosphere), and then decelerated and/or stopped. We discuss the boundary formation by the collision of two different plasmas which may include dynamical three-dimensional field-aligned current loops.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 26, no 9, 2771-2780 p.
Keyword [en]
magnetospheric physics, current systems, energetic particles, trapped, magnetopause, cusp, and boundary layers
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-149306ISI: 000259702800021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-149306DiVA: diva2:404438
Available from: 2011-03-17 Created: 2011-03-17 Last updated: 2011-03-17Bibliographically approved

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