The Influence of Convection on Magnetotail Variability
This study investigates the evolution of the magnetotail’s magnetic field with the aid of a self-consistent two-dimensional model. In this model the plasma mantle continuously supplies particles to the magnetotail, the ion current periodically updates the magnetic field using the Biot-Savart law. The simulated magnetotail evolves into a quasi-steady state, characterized by the periodic motion of the model’s near-Earth X-line. This variability results from the nonadiabatic acceleration of ions in the current sheet and their rapid loss from the tail. The characteristic time scale of variability in the magnetotail is on the order of 4–5 minutes. We also investigate how the magnetotail’s topology responds to increased convection electric fields, and show examples of observations of variability in the magnetotail.
KeywordsSolar Wind Current Sheet Interplanetary Magnetic Field Plasma Sheet Autocorrelation Time
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