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Ion Beams in Earth's Magnetotail

Ion Beams in Earth's Magnetotail

Date: 05 December 2007
Satellite: Cluster
Depicts: Animation of generation process of ion beams
Copyright: ESA (original pictures courtesy E. Grigorenko)

Slide 1: Solar wind material can enter Earth's magnetic field at the polar cusps
Slide 2: At each pole, a significant fraction of the particles bounces back along magnetic field lines and populates the plasma mantle, a plasma layer located on the night side of the Earth, inside the magnetosphere along its boundary
Slide 3: Plasma contained in the plasma mantle drifts equatorward, across the tail lobe and the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) towards the current sheet region located along the tail axis. According to a model developed in the late 80's/early 90's, there exist a few localized regions in the current sheet called "resonant locations" where ions acquire kinetic energy along the magnetic field. The amount of acquired energy depends on how far in the tail the resonance location lies
Slide 4: The accelerated ions are beamed back to Earth, from the magnetic equator, into the PSBL, towards the poles, in a kind of elongated parabolic flight along terrestrial magnetic field lines
Last Update: 1 September 2019
17-Jul-2024 16:53 UT

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