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Energetic Particle Phenomena in the Earth’s Magnetospheric Tail

  • James A. Van Allen
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 17)

Abstract

Solar electrons of kinetic energy E ≳ 50 keV are used as test particles to study the gross magnetic topology of the earth’s distant magnetospheric tail and electric fields therein. The observations have been made with similar systems of detectors on the earth orbiting Explorer 33 and the moon orbiting Explorer 35. Based on study of electron shadowing by the moon, of the simultaneous intensity of solar electrons in interplanetary space and within the magnetotail, and of the very short time delay in access of impulsively emitted solar electrons into the magnetotail, the following conclusions are proposed:
  1. (1)

    The gross magnetic topology of the distant magnetotail is an “open” one (i.e., dynamic interconnection of geomagnetic field lines to those in the interplanetary medium).

     
  2. (2)

    There are no closed electrical equipotential surfaces in the magnetotail at downstream distances greater than 64 RE.

     
  3. (3)

    Solar electrons enter the magnetotail at downstream distances between 64 and 900 RE.

     
  4. (4)

    Support is given to the idea that the motional electromotive force caused by the motion of the interplanetary magnetic field past the earth is responsible for driving magnetospheric plasma convection and electrical currents in the polar ionosphere.

     

Keywords

Interplanetary Magnetic Field Interplanetary Space Interplanetary Medium Ecliptic Plane Downstream Distance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Van Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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