Shape of the terrestrial plasma sheet in the near-Earth magnetospheric tail as imaged by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer
We present remote, continuous observations from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer of the terrestrial plasma sheet location back to -16 Earth radii (RE) in the magnetospheric tail using energetic neutral atom emissions. The time period studied includes two orbits near the winter and summer solstices, thus associated with large negative and positive dipole tilt, respectively. Continuous side-view images reveal a complex shape that is dominated mainly by large-scale warping due to the diurnal motion of the dipole axis. Superposed on the global warped geometry are short-time fluctuations in plasma sheet location that appear to be consistent with plasma sheet flapping and possibly twisting due to changes in the interplanetary conditions. We conclude that the plasma sheet warping due to the diurnal motion dominates the average shape of the plasma sheet. Over short times, the position of the plasma sheet can be dominated by twisting and flapping.
- Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States)
- Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States); Univ. of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (United States)
- Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
- Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center, Palo Alto, CA (United States)
- Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (United States); Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire (United States). Space Science Center.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Grant/Contract Number:
- Accepted Manuscript
- Journal Name:
- Geophysical Research Letters
- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
- American Geophysical Union
- Research Org:
- Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
- Sponsoring Org:
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
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