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Journal Paper

전체
Transport Path of Cold-Dense Plasmas in the Dusk Magnetotail Plasma Sheet: MMS Observations
  • M. N. Nishino; H. Hasegawa; Y. Saito; et al.
  • 2022-01-04
  • JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SPACE PHYSICS 127 1 : 1~16
The near-Earth plasma sheet becomes cold and dense under northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) condition, which suggests efficient solar wind plasma entry into the magnetosphere across the magnetopause for northward IMF and a possible contribution of ionospheric oxygen ion outflow. The cold and dense characteristics of the plasma sheet are more evident in the magnetotail flank regions that are the interface between cold solar wind plasma and hot magnetospheric plasma. Several physical mechanisms have been proposed to explain the solar wind plasma entry across the magnetopause and resultant formation of the cold-dense plasma sheet (CDPS) in the tail flank regions. However, the transport path of the cold-dense plasma inside the magnetotail has not been understood yet. Here, we present a case study of the CDPS in the dusk magnetotail by magnetospheric multiscale (MMS) spacecraft under strongly northward IMF and high-density solar wind conditions. The ion distribution function consists of high- and low-energy components, and the low-energy one intermittently shows energy dispersion in the directions parallel and antiparallel to the local magnetic field. The time-of-flight analysis of the energy-dispersed low-energy ions suggests that these ions originate in the region farther down the tail, move along the magnetic field toward the ionosphere and then come back to the magnetotail by the mirror reflection. The pitch-angle dispersion analysis gives consistent results on the traveling time and path length of the energy-dispersed ions. Based on these observations, we discuss possible generation mechanisms of the energy-dispersed structure of the low-energy ions during the northward IMF.