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Title: Full kinetic simulations of plasma flow interactions with meso- and microscale magnetic dipoles

We examined the plasma flow response to meso- and microscale magnetic dipoles by performing three-dimensional full particle-in-cell simulations. We particularly focused on the formation of a magnetosphere and its dependence on the intensity of the magnetic moment. The size of a magnetic dipole immersed in a plasma flow can be characterized by a distance L from the dipole center to the position where the pressure of the local magnetic field becomes equal to the dynamic pressure of the plasma flow under the magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) approximation. In this study, we are interested in a magnetic dipole whose L is smaller than the Larmor radius of ions r{sub iL} calculated with the unperturbed dipole field at the distance L from the center. In the simulation results, we confirmed the clear formation of a magnetosphere consisting of a magnetopause and a tail region in the density profile, although the spatial scale is much smaller than the MHD scale. One of the important findings in this study is that the spatial profiles of the plasma density as well as the current flows are remarkably affected by the finite Larmor radius effect of the plasma flow, which is different from the Earth's magnetosphere. The magnetopausemore » found in the upstream region is located at a position much closer to the dipole center than L. In the equatorial plane, we also found an asymmetric density profile with respect to the plasma flow direction, which is caused by plasma gyration in the dipole field region. The ion current layers are created in the inner region of the dipole field, and the electron current also flows in the region beyond the ion current layer because ions with a large inertia can closely approach the dipole center. Unlike the ring current structure of the Earth's magnetosphere, the current layers in the microscale dipole fields are not circularly closed around the dipole center. Since the major current is caused by the particle gyrations, the current is independently determined to be in the direction of the electron and ion gyrations, which are the same in both the upstream and downstream regions. The present analysis on the formation of a magnetosphere in the regime of a microscale magnetic dipole is significant for understanding the solar wind response to the crustal magnetic anomalies on the Moon surface, such as were recently observed by spacecraft.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011 (Japan)
  2. Graduate School of System Informatics, Kobe University, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501 (Japan)
  3. Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 229-8510 (Japan)
  4. Department of Aerospace Engineering, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Osaka 599-8531 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22407923
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ASYMMETRY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ELECTRONS; GYROMAGNETIC RATIO; LARMOR RADIUS; MAGNETIC DIPOLES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC MOMENTS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; MAGNETOPAUSE; MOON; PLASMA DENSITY; RING CURRENTS; SOLAR WIND; THREE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS