Magnetic Fields in the Earth’s Tail
The initial mapping of the magnetic field in the geomagnetic tail out to a distance of 31 RE by IMP 1 established the basic structure of the tail. In addition to the generally steady well collimated nature of the field in the tail, a radius of approximately 20 RE out to a geocentric distance of 30 RE in the antisolar direction was deduced and the existence of a relatively thin (≼ 1 RE) neutral sheet separating oppositely directed fields was established (Ness, 1965; Speiser and Ness, 1967). Explorer 14 measurements showed a broad region of low field magnitude surrounding the field reversal region at a distance of 10 to 12 RE (Cahill, 1966). Observations of electrons and protons with E>100eV by the Vela satellites at geocentric distances between 15.5 and 20.5 RE showed that the plasma sheet surrounding the neutral sheet is often 4 to 6 RE thick near the midnight meridian, increasing to approximately twice that thickness near the dusk and dawn boundaries (Bame et al., 1967).
KeywordsSolar Wind Plasma Sheet Neutral Line Neutral Sheet Geocentric Distance
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