Statistical Observations of Proton‐Band Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron Waves in the Outer Magnetosphere: Full Wavevector Determination

Sergio Toledo‐Redondo*, Justin H. Lee, Sarah K. Vines, I. F. Albert, Mats André, A. Castilla, Jérémy P. Dargent, Huishan Fu, Stephen A. Fuselier, V. Genot, Daniel B. Graham, Naritoshi Kitamura, Yu. V. Khotyaintsev, Benoit Lavraud, Victor Montagud‐Camps, Enrique A. Navarro, Cecilia Norgren, D. Perrone, Tai D. Phan, Jorge A. PortíAlfonso Salinas, Julia E. Stawarz, Andris Vaivads

*Corresponding author for this work

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Electromagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) waves mediate energy transfer from the solar wind to the magnetosphere, relativistic electron precipitation, or thermalization of the ring current population, to name a few. How these processes take place depends on the wave properties, such as the wavevector and polarization. However, inferring the wavevector from in‐situ measurements is problematic since one needs to disentangle spatial and time variations. Using 8 years of Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission observations in the dayside magnetosphere, we present an algorithm to detect proton‐band EMIC waves in the Earth's dayside magnetosphere, and find that they are present roughly 15% of the time. Their normalized frequency presents a dawn‐dusk asymmetry, with waves in the dawn flank magnetosphere having larger frequency than in the dusk, subsolar, and dawn near subsolar region. It is shown that the observations are unstable to the ion cyclotron instability. We obtain the wave polarization and wavevector by comparing Single Value Decomposition and Ampere methods. We observe that for most waves the perpendicular wavenumber (k⊥) is larger than the inverse of the proton gyroradius (ρ i ), that is, k⊥ρ i > 1, while the parallel wavenumber is smaller than the inverse of the ion gyroradius, that is, k‖ρ i < 1. Left‐hand polarized waves are associated with small wave normal angles (θ Bk < 30°), while linearly polarized waves are associated with large wave normal angles (θ Bk > 30°). This work constitutes, to our knowledge, the first attempt to statistically infer the full wavevector of proton‐band EMIC waves observed in the outer magnetosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2024JA032516
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number5
Early online date15 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

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