Hot plasma in the magnetotail lobes shows characteristics consistent with closed field lines trapped in the lobes

John C. Coxon*, Robert C. Fear, Jade A. Reidy, Laura J. Fryer, James Plank

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examine the magnetotail using data from the Hot Ion Analyzer on Cluster 1 during 2001–2009. We develop and utilize an algorithm in order to identify times during which Cluster 1 is in the magnetotail lobe but observes plasma, which is hotter than our expectations of the lobe. We analyze the prevailing Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) BZ conditions for our algorithm and a reference algorithm (with no particle energy criteria) and find that the periods we select are, on average, 2 nT more toward northward IMF. Examining the temperature in the magnetotail for our periods shows that the morphology of the average temperature is consistent with the Milan et al. (2005, https://doi. org/10.1029/2004JA010835) model of a magnetotail structure during northward IMF, in which closed field lines are prevented from convecting to the dayside, causing them and the plasma trapped on them to protrude into the magnetotail lobes. We also find evidence that 0.5% of our identified periods may be driven by direct entry into the magnetosphere from the solar wind.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JA029516
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume126
Issue number9
Early online date7 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

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