Response of the magnetosheath-cusp region to a coronal mass ejection
Publication date: 19 Dec 2007
Authors: Balan, N. et al.
Journal: J. Geophys. Res.
Copyright: American Geophysical UnionCluster made an unusual magnetosheath-exterior cusp crossing during the first 2.5 hours of a coronal mass ejection (CME) that flowed past Earth for about 7 hours on 24 October 2003. During the first 2.5 hours (1525-1802 UT) the solar wind dynamic pressure remained high and stable though the CME had a discontinuity after 40 min (1605 UT), when the azimuthal flow turned dawnward up to -100 kms-1 and IMF By and Bz changed from highly negative to positive up to 25 nT. The responses of the magnetosheath-cusp region during the unusual event are presented using Cluster and ground-based (EISCAT VHF radar; 69.6°N, 19.2°E) observations. The unusual Cluster crossing (compared to the usual midaltitude cusp crossing at this time of the year) occurred owing to a large compression of the magnetosphere. Cluster, which was in the southern magnetospheric lobe, suddenly found itself in the magnetosheath at the arrival of the CME at 1524:45 UT. Cluster then crossed through the compressed magnetosheath (highly compressed after the discontinuity in the CME) for about 1.5 hours (1525-1655 UT), magnetopause with strong signatures of lobe reconnection (~1655 UT), stagnant but compressed exterior cusp for about an hour (1700-1802 UT), and then entered the dayside magnetosphere. The observations also show strong signatures of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling through a late afternoon (~17 MLT) cusp during the first 40 min (1525-1605 UT) of the event when IMF Bz remained negative. Strong magnetic waves are also generated in the magnetosheath-cusp region.