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Modeling PSBL high speed ion beams observed by Cluster and Double Star

Modeling PSBL high speed ion beams observed by Cluster and Double Star

Publication date: 15 April 2008

Authors: Ashour-Abdalla, M. et al.

Journal: Adv. Space Res.
Volume: 41
Issue: 10
Page: 1598-1610
Year: 2008

Copyright: COSPAR

On October 8, 2004, the Cluster and Double Star spacecraft crossed the near-Earth (12-19 RE) magnetotail neutral sheet during the recovery phase of a small, isolated substorm. Although they were separated in distance by ~7 RE and in time by ~30 min, both Cluster and Double Star observed steady, but highly structured Earthward moving >1000 km/s high speed H+ beams in the PSBL. This paper utilizes a global magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation driven by Wind spacecraft solar wind input to model the large-scale structure of the PSBL and large-scale kinetic (LSK) particle tracing calculations to investigate the similarities and differences in the properties of the observed beams. This study finds that the large-scale shape of the PSBL is determined by the MHD configuration. On smaller scales, the LSK calculations, in good qualitative agreement with both Cluster and Double Star observations, demonstrated that the PSBL is highly structured in both time and space, on time intervals of less than 2 min, and spatial distances of the order of 0.2-0.5 RE. This picture of the PSBL is different from the ordered and structured region previously reported in observations.

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