Timescales of Dayside and Nightside Field-Aligned Current Response to Changes in Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Coupling

Stephen E. Milan*, Jennifer Alyson Carter, Harneet Sangha, Karl M. Laundal, Nikolai Østgaard, Paul Tenfjord, Jone Peter Reistad, Kristian Snekvik, John C. Coxon, Haje Korth, Brian J. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Principal component analysis is performed on Birkeland or field-aligned current (FAC) measurements from the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment, to determine the response of dayside and nightside FACs to reversals in the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and the occurrence of substorms. Dayside FACs respond promptly to changes in IMF BY, but the nightside response is delayed by up to an hour and can take up to 4 hr to develop fully, especially during northward IMF. Nightside FAC asymmetries grow during substorm growth phase when the IMF has a significant BY component, and also promptly at substorm onset. Our findings suggest that magnetotail twisting and/or BY penetration into the magnetotail, due to subsolar reconnection with east-west orientated IMF, are the main cause of these nightside FAC asymmetries and that asymmetries also arise due to magnetotail reconnection of these twisted field lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7307-7319
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume123
Issue number9
Early online date4 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

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