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Earth’s Magnetosphere: Plasma accelerations outside the magnetotail. Claire Kuang Mentor: Dr. David Sibeck. How are plasma accelerations generated?. Field lines that encounter the magnetopause are temporarily slowed and stretched.

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Earth’s Magnetosphere: Plasma accelerations outside the magnetotail

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Earth’s Magnetosphere: Plasma accelerations outside the magnetotail

Claire Kuang

Mentor: Dr. David Sibeck


How are plasma accelerations generated?

  • Field lines that encounter the magnetopause are temporarily slowed and stretched

  • Results in a ‘sling shot’ effect in plasma further down as lines are pulled along the sides


Current research: Lavraud

  • Strong accelerated flows in the magnetosheath that equal or exceed solar wind velocity

Strong bulk plasma acceleration in Earth’s magnetosheath:

A magnetic slingshot effect?

B. Lavraud, published 18 July 2007.


My research: using magnetohydrodynamic models in CCMC’s database

  • Community Coordinated Modeling Center

  • Dayside reconnection line data from last summer

  • Identify locus of points from which accelerated flows diverge for each IMF angle parameter

  • Relate flows to reconnection line tilt

z

45°

90°

y

y

135°

x

z


What is reconnection?

  • Reconnection occurs at the boundary between two different magnetic fields

  • Transfers energy from the sun into the magnetosphere


IMF angle = 90

IMF angle = 135

IMF angle = 180

IMF = 135


IMF = 45

IMF = 135

IMF = 135


IMF angle rotates from 0 (north) to 90 (dusk)

IMF = 135


Conclusion

  • Locations of accelerated flows outside the tail consistent with reconnection line tilt

  • Flow velocity only exceeds solar wind velocity for

    • distances greater than 10 Re tailward from Earth

    • southward IMF clock angles


Thanks to:

Dr. David Sibeck and MashaKuznetsova

Dr. Ekaterina Verner

SESI and Catholic University


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