Formation and Geometry of Geomagnetic Tail

  • A. J. Dessler
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 17)


The idea of a geomagnetic field confined by solar plasma is an old one (e.g., Chapman and Ferraro, 1931; Dungey, 1955; Hoyle, 1956; Dessler, 1958; Parker, 1958; Piddington, 1959). By 1960, with the publication by Johnson (1960) of his teardrop model, the position of theorists was unified to the point that they all were in agreement that the outer geomagnetic field was seriously distorted by solar plasma and that beyond 6 to 10 RE the geomagnetic field was confined asymmetrically by this plasma. However, as is often the case in space physics, what theorists believe has perhaps less influence on scientific opinion than even the more modest of them realize. A figure used in several recent reviews shows the’ magnetosphere of the 1950’s’ as a dipole field extending presumably to infinity while the’ magnetosphere of the 1960’s’ is the negligible merging model put forth by Dessler (1964).


Solar Wind Interplanetary Magnetic Field Tail Length Solar Plasma Neutral Sheet 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Dessler
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Space ScienceRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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