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Transport of transient solar wind particles in Earth's cusps

Transport of transient solar wind particles in Earth's cusps

Publication date: 12 August 2008

Authors: Parks, G.K. et al.

Journal: Physics of Plasmas
Volume: 15
Issue: 8
ID: 080702
Year: 2008

Copyright: American Institute of Physics

An important problem in space physics still not understood well is how the solar wind enters the Earth's magnetosphere. Evidence is presented that transient solar wind particles produced by solar disturbances can appear in the Earth's mid-altitude (~5 RE geocentric) cusps with densities nearly equal to those in the magnetosheath. That these are magnetosheath particles is established by showing they have the same "flattop" electron distributions as magnetosheath electrons behind the bow shock. The transient ions are moving parallel to the magnetic field (B) toward Earth and often coexist with ionospheric particles that are flowing out. The accompanying waves include electromagnetic and broadband electrostatic noise emissions and Bernstein mode waves. Phase-space distributions show a mixture of hot and cold electrons and multiple ion species including field-aligned ionospheric O+ beams.

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