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Sample records for current sheet observed

  1. Modeling Harris Current Sheets with Themis Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kepko, L.; Angelopoulos, V.; McPherron, R. L.; Apatenkov, S.; Glassmeier, K.-H.

    2010-01-01

    Current sheets are ubiquitous in nature. occurring in such varied locations as the solar atmosphere. the heliosphere, and the Earth's magnetosphere. The simplest current sheet is the one-dimensional Harris neutral sheet, with the lobe field strength and scale-height the only free parameters. Despite its simplicity, confirmation of the Harris sheet as a reasonable description of the Earth's current sheet has remained elusive. In early 2009 the orbits of the 5 THEMIS probes fortuitously aligned such that profiles of the Earth's current sheet could be modeled in a time dependent manner. For the few hours of alignment we have calculated the time history of the current sheet parameters (scale height and current) in the near-Earth region. during both quiet and active times. For one particular substorm. we further demonstrate good quantitative agreement with the diversion of cross tail current inferred from the Harris modeling with the ionospheric current inferred from ground magnetometer data.

  2. Dynamics of thin current sheets: Cluster observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumjohann, W.; Roux, A.; Le Contel, O.; Nakamura, R.; Birn, J.; Hoshino, M.; Lui, A. T. Y.; Owen, C. J.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Vaivads, A.; Fontaine, D.; Runov, A.

    2007-06-01

    The paper tries to sort out the specific signatures of the Near Earth Neutral Line (NENL) and the Current Disruption (CD) models, and looks for these signatures in Cluster data from two events. For both events transient magnetic signatures are observed, together with fast ion flows. In the simplest form of NENL scenario, with a large-scale two-dimensional reconnection site, quasi-invariance along Y is expected. Thus the magnetic signatures in the S/C frame are interpreted as relative motions, along the X or Z direction, of a quasi-steady X-line, with respect to the S/C. In the simplest form of CD scenario an azimuthal modulation is expected. Hence the signatures in the S/C frame are interpreted as signatures of azimuthally (along Y) moving current system associated with low frequency fluctuations of Jy and the corresponding field-aligned currents (Jx). Event 1 covers a pseudo-breakup, developing only at high latitudes. First, a thin (H≍2000 km≍2ρi, with ρi the ion gyroradius) Current Sheet (CS) is found to be quiet. A slightly thinner CS (H≍1000-2000 km≍1-2ρi), crossed about 30 min later, is found to be active, with fast earthward ion flow bursts (300-600 km/s) and simultaneous large amplitude fluctuations (δB/B~1). In the quiet CS the current density Jy is carried by ions. Conversely, in the active CS ions are moving eastward; the westward current is carried by electrons that move eastward, faster than ions. Similarly, the velocity of earthward flows (300-600 km/s), observed during the active period, maximizes near or at the CS center. During the active phase of Event 1 no signature of the crossing of an X-line is identified, but an X-line located beyond Cluster could account for the observed ion flows, provided that it is active for at least 20 min. Ion flow bursts can also be due to CD and to the corresponding dipolarizations which are associated with changes in the current density. Yet their durations are shorter than the duration of the active

  3. Observational evidence for large-scale current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jun

    One of the most significant predictions of the catastrophe model of solar eruptions developed by Lin Forbes (2000) that a current sheet forms following the onset of the eruption. Various modes of plasma turbulence as a result of plasma instabilities are invoked inside the current sheet, yielding fast dissipation of the magnetic field, namely magnetic reconnection, through the sheet. Because the timescale of reconnection is long compared to the timescale of the onset stage, dissipation of the sheet is slow, so the current sheet is able to become fairly long. The evolution in the global feature of the current sheet is significant constrained by the local Alfven speed, and the internal properties and features of the sheet, on the other hand, are dependent in an apparent way on the development of the turbulence caused by the instabilities. The tearing mode instability among those that may occur in the sheet is the most important one that accounts for the large thickness and high electric resistivity of the current sheet. In the present work, we show a set of events that were observed to develop thick current sheets with several apparent features indicating the progress of the turbulence in the sheet, and the results for the sheet thickness determined by UVCS and LASCO experiments on SOHO, and deduce from these results the effective resistivity that is responsible for the rapid reconnection. We suggest that the high effective resistivity is related to the so-called hyper-resistivity that is produced by the tearing mode.

  4. MESSENGER Observations of Asymmetries at Mercury's Magnetotail Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poh, Gangkai; Slavin, James; Jia, Xianzhe; Raines, Jim; Sun, Wei-Jie; Genestreti, Kevin; Smith, Andy; Gershman, Daniel; Anderson, Brian

    2016-04-01

    Dawn-dusk asymmetries in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet have been observed and remain an active area of research. With an internal magnetic dipole field structure similar to Earth's, similar dawn-dusk asymmetries might be expected in Mercury's magnetotail current sheet. However, no observation of dawn-dusk asymmetries has been reported in the structure of Mercury's magnetotail. Using 4 years of MESSENGER's magnetic field and plasma data, we analyzed 319 current sheet crossings. From the polarity of Bz in the cross-tail current sheet, we determined that MESSENGER is on closed field lines about 90% of the time. During the other 10% MESSENGER observed negative Bz indicating that it was tailward of the Near Mercury Neutral Line (NMNL). The Bz magnetic field is also observed to be higher at the dawnside than the duskside of the magnetotail current sheet by approximately a factor of three. Further the asymmetry decreases with increasing downstream distance. A reduction (enhancement) in Bz should correspond to a more (less) stretched and thinned (thickened) current sheet. Analysis of current sheet thickness based upon MESSENGER's observations confirms this behavior with mean current sheet thickness and Bz intensity having dawn-dusk asymmetries with the same sense. Plasma β in the current sheet also exhibits a dawn-dusk asymmetry opposite to that of Bz. This is consistent with expectations based on MHD stress balance. Earlier studies had shown a dawn-dusk asymmetry in the heavy ion in Mercury's magnetotail. We suggest that this enhancement of heavy ions in the duskside current sheet, due to centrifugal acceleration of ions from the cusp and gradient-curvature drift from the NMNL, may provide a partial explanation of the dawn-dusk current sheet asymmetries found in this study.

  5. Structure of the Jovian Magnetodisk Current Sheet: Initial Galileo Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, C. T.; Huddleston, D. E.; Khurana, K. K.; Kivelson, M. G.

    2001-01-01

    The ten-degree tilt of the Jovian magnetic dipole causes the magnetic equator to move back and forth across Jupiter's rotational equator and tile Galileo orbit that lies therein. Beyond about 24 Jovian radii, the equatorial current sheet thins and tile magnetic structure changes from quasi-dipolar into magnetodisk-like with two regions of nearly radial but antiparallel magnetic field separated by a strong current layer. The magnetic field at the center of the current sheet is very weak in this region. Herein we examine tile current sheet at radial distances from 24 55 Jovian radii. We find that the magnetic structure very much resembles tile structure seen at planetary magnetopause and tail current sheet crossings. Tile magnetic field variation is mainly linear with little rotation of the field direction, At times there is almost no small-scale structure present and the normal component of the magnetic field is almost constant through the current sheet. At other times there are strong small-scale structures present in both the southward and northward directions. This small-scale structure appears to grow with radial distance and may provide the seeds for tile explosive reconnection observed at even greater radial distances oil tile nightside. Beyond about 40 Jovian radii, the thin current sheet also appears to be almost constantly in oscillatory motion with periods of about 10 min. The amplitude of these oscillations also appears to grow with radial distance. The source of these fluctuations may be dynamical events in tile more distant magnetodisk.

  6. Observations of Current Sheets Passing Through the Near Lunar Wake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, X.; Wong, H. C.; Ma, Y.; Zhou, M.

    2015-12-01

    Two reconnection exhausts were detected by one of the dual ARTEMIS orbiters in the solar wind near the Moon. Almost meanwhile, the other ARTEMIS orbiter encountered the two corresponding (to the exhausts) current sheets that show no reconnection signals at the relatively central and marginal locations in the near lunar wake. In the ``Margin Event", a strong magnetic enhancement in the normal direction has been found peaking near the neutral line. In the ``Center Event", the current sheet was significantly broadened in thickness. The rotations of magnetic field direction of the two current sheets became more smooth than those of the exhausts. It is the dropout currents which cannot penetrate into the near wake that mainly caused these observational magnetic features. Such magnetic configuration is very similar to the magnetic geometry between two anti-polarity permanent magnets parallel to each other in non conducting context. The essential reason is that the extremely low density plasma in the near wake can no longer carry as strong currents as in the solar wind to support the curl of the magnetic fields.

  7. Kinetic scale current sheet observed at the magnetopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norgren, Cecilia; Graham, Daniel; Khotyaintsev, Yuri; André, Mats; Vaivads, Andris

    2016-04-01

    Kinetic scale current sheets associated with sharp plasma boundaries are often formed in plasmas. Studying the processes responsible for plasma transport and acceleration operating within these thin boundaries require high-resolution data. We present an event observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission as the spacecraft cross a reconnection diffusion region at the magnetopause. We investigate the kinetic structure of the reconnection layer including particle distribution functions and waves and find what terms in the generalized Ohm's law balances the observed electric field.

  8. Observational support for the current sheet catastrophe model of substorm current disruption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkhart, G. R.; Lopez, R. E.; Dusenbery, P. B.; Speiser, T. W.

    1992-01-01

    The principles of the current sheet catastrophe models are briefly reviewed, and observations of some of the signatures predicted by the theory are presented. The data considered here include AMPTE/CCE observations of fifteen current sheet disruption events. According to the model proposed here, the root cause of the current disruption is some process, as yet unknown, that leads to an increase in the k sub A parameter. Possible causes for the increase in k sub A are discussed.

  9. Review on Current Sheets in CME Development: Theories and Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jun; Murphy, Nicholas A.; Shen, Chengcai; Raymond, John C.; Reeves, Katharine K.; Zhong, Jiayong; Wu, Ning; Li, Yan

    2015-11-01

    We introduce how the catastrophe model for solar eruptions predicted the formation and development of the long current sheet (CS) and how the observations were used to recognize the CS at the place where the CS is presumably located. Then, we discuss the direct measurement of the CS region thickness by studying the brightness distribution of the CS region at different wavelengths. The thickness ranges from 104 km to about 105 km at heights between 0.27 and 1.16 R_{⊙} from the solar surface. But the traditional theory indicates that the CS is as thin as the proton Larmor radius, which is of order tens of meters in the corona. We look into the huge difference in the thickness between observations and theoretical expectations. The possible impacts that affect measurements and results are studied, and physical causes leading to a thick CS region in which reconnection can still occur at a reasonably fast rate are analyzed. Studies in both theories and observations suggest that the difference between the true value and the apparent value of the CS thickness is not significant as long as the CS could be recognised in observations. We review observations that show complex structures and flows inside the CS region and present recent numerical modelling results on some aspects of these structures. Both observations and numerical experiments indicate that the downward reconnection outflows are usually slower than the upward ones in the same eruptive event. Numerical simulations show that the complex structure inside CS and its temporal behavior as a result of turbulence and the Petschek-type slow-mode shock could probably account for the thick CS and fast reconnection. But whether the CS itself is that thick still remains unknown since, for the time being, we cannot measure the electric current directly in that region. We also review the most recent laboratory experiments of reconnection driven by energetic laser beams, and discuss some important topics for future works.

  10. Catapult current sheet relaxation model confirmed by THEMIS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machida, S.; Miyashita, Y.; Ieda, A.; Nose, M.; Angelopoulos, V.; McFadden, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we show the result of superposed epoch analysis on the THEMIS probe data during the period from November, 2007 to April, 2009 by setting the origin of time axis to the substorm onset determined by Nishimura with THEMIS all sky imager (THEMS/ASI) data (http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~toshi/files/paper/Toshi_THEMIS_GBO_list_distribution.xls). We confirmed the presence of earthward flows which can be associated with north-south auroral streamers during the substorm growth phase. At around X = -12 Earth radii (Re), the northward magnetic field and its elevation angle decreased markedly approximately 4 min before substorm onset. A northward magnetic-field increase associated with pre-onset earthward flows was found at around X = -17Re. This variation indicates the occurrence of the local depolarization. Interestingly, in the region earthwards of X = -18Re, earthward flows in the central plasma sheet (CPS) reduced significantly about 3min before substorm onset. However, the earthward flows enhanced again at t = -60 sec in the region around X = -14 Re, and they moved toward the Earth. At t = 0, the dipolarization of the magnetic field started at X ~ -10 Re, and simultaneously the magnetic reconnection started at X ~ -20 Re. Synthesizing these results, we can confirm the validity of our catapult current sheet relaxation model.

  11. Periodic Crossings of Saturn's Current Sheet by Cassini: Observations and Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, K. K.; Arridge, C. S.; Dougherty, M. K.; Russell, C. T.

    2006-12-01

    Cassini continues to provide exciting new observations from the magnetosphere of Saturn. These observations are helping us understand the structure and dynamics of this rotationally dominant magnetosphere. One of the puzzling observations from the latest magnetotail passes is the occurrence of periodic current sheet crossings in a magnetosphere known for its almost axis-symmetric magnetic field. In these crossings, the radial and azimuthal components of the magnetic field reverse sign twice during a spin period of Saturn in a manner similar to the dipole tilt induced motions of the Jovian current sheet. As the dipole tilt of Saturn's magnetic field is less than 0.2 degree, it is not clear how the current sheet can flap up and down over the spacecraft when it is located quite far from the nominal location of the current sheet. In this presentation, we will examine all of the data so far collected by Cassini to catalogue all of the periodic current sheet crossings in the data. We will examine parameters like the radial distance, latitude, longitude and local time of the spacecraft to understand under what conditions the current sheet crossings are observed. We comment on the relationship between these periodic current sheet crossings to periodicities in the quasi- dipolar region of the magnetosphere. Finally, we will explore models of Saturn's current sheet that can explain the periodicities of the observed magnetic field.

  12. In Situ Observations of Ion Scale Current Sheets and Associated Electron Heating in Turbulent Space Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, A.; Retino, A.; Sahraoui, F.; Greco, A.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Sundkvist, D. J.; Canu, P.

    2014-12-01

    We present a statistical study of ion-scale current sheets in turbulent space plasma. The study was performed using in situ measurements from the Earth's magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock. Intermittent structures were identified using the Partial Variance of Increments method. We studied the distribution of the identified structures as a function of their magnetic shear angle, the PVI index and the electron heating. The properties of the observed current sheets were different for high (>3) and low (<3) values of the PVI index. We observed a distinct population of high PVI (>3) structures that accounted for ~20% of the total. Those current sheets have high magnetic shear (>90 degrees) and were observed mostly in close proximity to the bow shock with their numbers reducing towards the magnetopause. Enhancement of the estimated electron temperature within these current sheets suggest that they are important for local electron heating and energy dissipation.

  13. In situ observations of ion scale current sheet and associated electron heating in Earth's magnetosheath turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, Alexandros; Retinò, Alessandro; Sahraoui, Fouad; Greco, Antonella; Vaivads, Andris; Sundkvist, David; Canu, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection occurs in thin current sheets that form in turbulent plasmas. Numerical simulations indicate that turbulent reconnection contributes to the dissipation of magnetic field energy and results in particle heating and non-thermal acceleration. Yet in situ measurements are required to determine its importance as a dissipation mechanism at those scales. The Earth's magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock is a turbulent near-Earth environment that offers a privileged environment for such a study. Here we present a study of the properties of thin current sheets by using Cluster data. We studied the distribution of the current sheets as a function of their magnetic shear angle, the PVI index and the electron heating. The properties of the observed current sheets were different for high shear (θ > 90 degrees) and low shear current sheets (θ < 90 degrees). These high-shear current sheets account for about ˜ 20% of the total and have an average thickness comparable to the ion inertial length. Enhancement of electron temperature within these current sheets suggest that they are important for local electron heating and energy dissipation.

  14. An Observational Research on Magnetic Reconnection Current Sheet Occurred in Two Solar Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Q. W.; Wu, N.; Lin, J.

    2015-11-01

    The coronal magnetic configuration is severely stretched by the disruption in the process of coronal mass ejection (CME), pushing the magnetic fields of opposite polarity to approach one another, and creating a magnetic neutral region (current sheet) behind CME. Magnetic reconnection taking place inside the current sheet converts the magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy of the plasma, and the kinetic energy of energetic particles. The role of the current sheet in this process is two-fold: the region where reconnection occurs, and connecting the flare to the associated CME. We studied the events of 2003 January 3 and 2003 November 4, respectively. Development of the current sheet was observed in both cases. We investigated the dynamic features of the two events, as well as physical properties of the current sheet, on the basis of analyzing the observational data from LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph) and UVCS (Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer) on board SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory), and the Hα data from BBSO (Big Bear Solar Observatory) and YNAO (Yunnan Observatories). The existence of ions with high ionization state, such as Fe^{+17} and Si^{+11}, indicated a high temperature up to 3×10^{6}-5×10^{6} K. Direct measurements showed that the apparent thickness of the current sheet varies from 1.3×10^{4} to 1.1×10^{5} km, which increases first and then decreases with time. Using the CHIANTI code (v.7.1), we further calculated the averages of the electron temperature and the corresponding emission measure in the current sheet of the 2003 January 3 event, which were about 3.86× 10^{6} K and 6.1× 10^{24} cm^{-5}, respectively. We also noticed that the current sheet twisted forth and back in a quasi-periodical fashion during the event on 2003 November 4 by analyzing the data from SOHO/UVCS.

  15. Current Sheet and Reconnection Inflow-Outflow Observations During Solar Eruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Sabrina; Holman, Gordon; Reeves, Kathy R.; Seaton, Daniel B.; McKenzie, David E.; Su, Yang

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic reconnection is widely accepted as a dominant source of energy during solar flares; however, observations of it have been indirect and/or incomplete. Using the suite of instruments available spanning wavelength space, we will provide observations and measurements of both the inputs and outputs predicted from reconnection in the form of inflows preceding outflows (i.e. supra-arcade downflows, supra-arcade downflowing loops, upflows, and disconnection events). We will also present evidence for current sheets through which reconnection is expected to occur and discuss current sheet motion during flare progression.

  16. Laboratory Observation of Resistive Electron Tearing in a Two-Fluid Reconnecting Current Sheet.

    PubMed

    Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, Masaaki; Yoo, Jongsoo; Fox, William

    2016-08-26

    The spontaneous formation of plasmoids via the resistive electron tearing of a reconnecting current sheet is observed in the laboratory. These experiments are performed during driven, antiparallel reconnection in the two-fluid regime within the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment. It is found that plasmoids are present even at a very low Lundquist number, and the number of plasmoids scales with both the current sheet aspect ratio and the Lundquist number. The reconnection electric field increases when plasmoids are formed, leading to an enhanced reconnection rate. PMID:27610861

  17. Observations of steady anomalous magnetic heating in thin current sheets. [of solar corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martens, P. C. H.; Van Den Oord, G. H. J.; Hoyng, P.

    1985-01-01

    The Hard X-ray Imaging Spectrometer of the Solar Maximum Mission has yielded observations of a faint, steadily emitting loop-like structure, which have allowed the thermal evolution of this loop over a period of about 15 hr to be followed. Only 0.1 percent of the volume of the loop appears to be steadily heated, at the large rate of 0.6 erg/cu cm sec; this suggests that the heating represents the dissipation of magnetic fields in thin current sheets. Ion-kinetic tearing, as proposed by Galeev et al. (1981), is noted to be especially consonant with these observations. The source of the present X-ray emission is identified with the H-alpha filament in the same region. The present findings are held to constitute the first direct evidence for the steady dissipation of coronal magnetic fields via enhanced thin current sheet resistivity.

  18. Weighted current sheets supported in normal and inverse configurations - A model for prominence observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demoulin, P.; Forbes, T. G.

    1992-01-01

    A technique which incorporates both photospheric and prominence magnetic field observations is used to analyze the magnetic support of solar prominences in two dimensions. The prominence is modeled by a mass-loaded current sheet which is supported against gravity by magnetic fields from a bipolar source in the photosphere and a massless line current in the corona. It is found that prominence support can be achieved in three different kinds of configurations: an arcade topology with a normal polarity; a helical topology with a normal polarity; and a helical topology with an inverse polarity. In all cases the important parameter is the variation of the horizontal component of the prominence field with height. Adding a line current external to the prominence eliminates the nonsupport problem which plagues virtually all previous prominence models with inverse polarity.

  19. A cylindrical current sheet over the South solar pole observed by Ulysses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarova, Olga; Kislov, Roman; Malova, Helmi; Obridko, Vladimir

    2016-04-01

    We provide the first evidence for the existence of a quasi-stable cylindrical current sheet over the South solar pole as observed by Ulysses in 2006, near the solar minimum, when it reached maximal heliolatitude of 79.7 degrees at 2.4 AU. It took place inside a fast speed stream from the coronal hole, and the tube was presumably crossed rather far from the center within two degrees of heliolatitude and ~10 degrees of heliolongitude. During the spacecraft passage throughout the structure, the solar wind velocity was approximately twice as little, the solar wind density was 20 times lower than the surrounded plasma values, but the temperature was twice as large in the point closest to the pole. The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strongly decreased due to sharp variations in the IMF radial component (RTN) that changed its sign twice, but other components did not show changes out of usual stochastic behavior. Both the behavior of the IMF, rotation of the plasma flow direction and other features indicate the occurrence of cylindrical current sheet. We discuss its solar origin and present modeling that can explain the observations.

  20. Observation of the Evolution of a Current Sheet in a Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunming; Liu, Rui; Alexander, David; McAteer, James

    2016-05-01

    We report multi-wavelength and multi-viewpoint observations of a solar eruptive event which involves loop-loop interactions. During a C2.0 flare, motions associated with inflowing and outflowing plasma provide evidence for ongoing magnetic reconnection. The flare loop top and a rising "concave-up" feature are connected by a current-sheet-like structure (CSLS). The physical properties (thickness, length, temperature, and density) of the CSLS are evaluated. In regions adjacent to the CSLS, the EUV emission (characteristic temperature at 1.6 MK) begins to increase more than ten minutes prior to the onset of the flare, and steeply decreases during the decay phase. The reduction of the emission resembles that expected from coronal dimming. The dynamics of this event imply a magnetic reconnection rate in the range 0.01--0.05.

  1. Observation of the Evolution of a Current Sheet in a Solar Flare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunming; Liu, Rui; Alexander, David; McAteer, R. T. James

    2016-04-01

    We report multi-wavelength and multi-viewpoint observations of a solar eruptive event that involves loop-loop interactions. During a C2.0 flare, motions associated with inflowing and outflowing plasma provide evidence for ongoing magnetic reconnection. The flare loop top and a rising “concave-up” feature are connected by a current-sheet-like structure (CSLS). The physical properties (thickness, length, temperature, and density) of the CSLS are evaluated. In regions adjacent to the CSLS, the EUV emission (characteristic temperature at 1.6 MK) begins to increase more than 10 minutes prior to the onset of the flare, and steeply decreases during the decay phase. The reduction of the emission resembles that expected from coronal dimming. The dynamics of this event imply a magnetic reconnection rate in the range 0.01-0.05.

  2. Study of the magnetotail current sheet properties using observations from the MMS mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andriopoulou, Maria; Nakamura, Rumi; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; Artemyev, Anton V.; Torkar, Klaus; Russell, Christopher T.; Torbert, Roy B.; Lindqvist, Per-Arne; Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.; Pollock, Craig J.; Fuselier, Stephen A.; Burch, James L.; Genestreti, Kevin J.

    2016-04-01

    The small interspacecraft distances of the recently launched Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission and the unprecedented time resolution of the plasma and field measurements of the instruments onboard each spacecraft allow us to study the properties of magnetotail current sheet crossings in great detail in terms of their spatial and temporal evolution and resolve several cases in ion and electron scales. In the present study we focus on some case studies of thin current sheets during the MMS commissioning phase, which lasted till August 2015. For this analysis, we use plasma density data obtained from plasma detectors and plasma density proxi estimated from spacecraft potential variations by taking into account the effect of the ASPOC ion beam current. The results of this study could be a useful input for current sheet models and simulations.

  3. Current sheet model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The model of a rectenna based on the current sheet equivalency of a large planar array is described. The model is mathematically characterized by expression for the fraction of the incident plane wave that is reflected from the sheet. The model is conceptually justified for normal incidence by comparing it to the waveguide model in which evanescent modes, present as beyond and cutoff, correspond to the near field components which become negligible at any significant distance from the antenna array.

  4. Dependence of Current-Sheet-like Structure on the Solar Wind Type from the ACE Observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, L. E.; Li, G.

    2012-12-01

    Solar wind is an ideal testbed for studying various properties of magnetohydrodynamics turbulence (MHD), including its intermittent characteristics. One type of intermittent structure in the solar wind is current-sheet-like structures. These structures may originate from the solar surface or may emerge as a result of non-linear interactions in the solar wind. Depending on how they form, in particular whether or not they are formed in the solar wind, their occurrence rate may be a function of the solar wind type. In this work, we examine how the current sheet occurrence rate depend on the solar wind type. In classifying the solar wind type, we follow the criteria given in Zhao and Fisk (2009) and use the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) plasma data in the year of 2010. The current sheets are identified using the method developed in Li (2008) and Miao et al. (2011). Our results show that the occurrence rate has a different solar wind speed dependence for the coronal hole wind (CHW) and the non coronal hole wind (NCHW).

  5. Field-aligned current signatures in the near-tail region. I - ISEE observations in the plasma sheet boundary layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohtani, S.; Kokubun, S.; Elphic, R. C.; Russell, C. T.

    1988-01-01

    Field-aligned currents in the near-tail region are examined using ISEE magnetometer data. Two substorms (the 1054 UT and the 1436 UT substorms on March 22, 1979) were examined, demonstrating the consistency of the current polarity and intensity with observations at lower altitudes, which suggests that field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer are parts of the large-scale current system, the region-1 system. An examination of the steplike changes of the magnetic field direction, which correspond to the spacecraft crossing of a net field-aligned current, showed that the field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer have the same polarity as the region-1 system.

  6. Cluster observations of broadband electromagnetic waves in and around a reconnection region in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkaki, P.; Freeman, M. P.; Walsh, A. P.

    2006-08-01

    We present an analysis of the electric and magnetic wave spectra on kinetic scales during several crossings of a reconnecting current sheet. The spectra were measured from 1 Hz or less up to 4096 Hz by the EFW, FGM and STAFF instruments onboard the Cluster spacecraft between 3 and 4 UT on 11 October 2001. During the event plasma flows of order of the local Alfvén speed reversed from tailward to earthward, suggesting that a reconnection site moved over the spacecraft. We ordered the observed electric and magnetic field wave spectrum by the position within the current sheet using the magnitude of the magnetic field B. We found that the electric and magnetic wave power decreased considerably at all frequencies towards the center of the current sheet (B ~ 0 nT). The electric energy density decreases 5 orders of magnitude from the edge of the current sheet (B = 19 nT) to the center and the magnetic energy density peaks within the current sheet (B = 13 nT) and is decreased by 2.5 orders of magnitude at the center. Within the current sheet, the electric and magnetic wave spectra were dominantly broadband electromagnetic noise (i.e., power law spectra with exponents ~-1.4 and ~-2.4, respectively) throughout the frequency range ~0.1-1000 Hz, spanning from MHD (i.e., ion cyclotron frequency ~0.2 Hz) to almost the electron plasma frequency (~4000 Hz). We argue that the wave activity is likely to be whistler wave turbulence and discuss the implications of these results for reconnection from wave-particle interactions.

  7. Cluster observations of broadband electromagnetic waves in and around a reconnection region in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petkaki, P.; Freeman, M. P.; Walsh, A. P.

    2006-12-01

    We present an analysis of the electric and magnetic wave spectra on kinetic scales during several crossings of a reconnecting current sheet. The spectra were measured from 1 Hz or less up to 4096 Hz by the EFW, FGM and STAFF instruments onboard the Cluster spacecraft between 3 and 4 UT on 11 October 2001. During the event plasma flows of order of the local Alfvén speed reversed from tailward to earthward, suggesting that a reconnection site moved over the spacecraft. We ordered the observed electric and magnetic field wave spectrum by the position within the current sheet using the magnitude of the magnetic field B. We found that the electric and magnetic wave power decreased considerably at all frequencies towards the center of the current sheet (B ≍ 0~nT). The electric energy density decreases 5 orders of magnitude from the edge of the current sheet (B = 19~nT) to the center and the magnetic energy density peaks within the current sheet (B = 13~nT) and is decreased by 2.5 orders of magnitude at the center. Within the current sheet, the electric and magnetic wave spectra were dominantly broadband electromagnetic noise (i.e., power law spectra with exponents ≍ -1.4 and ≍ -2.4, respectively) throughout the frequency range ~ 0.1 - 1000~Hz, spanning from MHD (i.e., ion cyclotron frequency ≍ 0.2~Hz) to almost the electron plasma frequency (≍ 4000~Hz). We argue that the wave activity is likely to be whistler wave turbulence and discuss the implications of these results for reconnection from wave-particle interactions.

  8. Reconnection in thin current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco; Pucci, Fulvia; Rappazzo, A. F.

    2016-05-01

    It has been widely believed that reconnection is the underlying mechanism of many explosive processes observed both in nature and laboratory, but the question of reconnection speed and initial trigger have remained mysterious. How is fast magnetic energy release triggered in high Lundquist (S) and Reynolds (R) number plasmas?It has been shown that a tearing mode instability can grow on an ideal timescale, i.e., independent from the the Lundquist number, once the current sheet thickness becomes thin enough, or rather the inverse aspect ratio a/L reaches a scale a/L~S-1/3. As such, the latter provides a natural, critical threshold for current sheets that can be formed in nature before they disrupt in a few Alfvén time units. Here we discuss the transition to fast reconnection extended to simple viscous and kinetic models and we propose a possible scenario for the transition to explosive reconnection in high-Lundquist number plasmas, that we support with fully nonlinear numerical MHD simulations of a collapsing current sheet.

  9. Origin of the warped heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Hoeksema, J. T.; Scherrer, P. H.

    1980-08-01

    The warped heliospheric current sheet for early 1976 is calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field by a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity for early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere by Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11, and at the earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large-scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field and that 'ballerina skirt' effects may add small scale ripples.

  10. MMS Spacecraft Observation of Near Tail Thin Current Sheets: Their Locations, Conditions for Formation and Relation to Geomagnetic Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Anderson, B. J.; Baumjohann, W.; Bromund, K. R.; Chutter, M.; Fischer, D.; Kepko, L.; Le Contel, O.; Leinweber, H. K.; Magnes, W.; Nakamura, R.; Plaschke, F.; Slavin, J. A.; Torbert, R. B.

    2015-12-01

    During the commissioning phase of the MMS mission, when the apogee (~12Re) of MMS orbit swept from the pre-midnight to the dusk section of the magnetosphere, the four spacecraft probed the dynamic region of the near-Earth magnetotail. The MMS fleet encountered many structures with unambiguously small-scale spatial gradient in magnetic field (comparable to the separation of the fleet), indicating the existence of very thin current sheets in this near-tail region. During this commissioning phase, the MMS spacecraft were in a string of pearls configuration, not ideally suitable for "curlometer" determination of the current density. Thus the current density and thickness of the sheets are only roughly determined using reasonable assumptions. In this study we correlate the current sheet's location and thickness with solar wind conditions and the ground magnetic field records.

  11. RECONNECTION OUTFLOWS AND CURRENT SHEET OBSERVED WITH HINODE/XRT IN THE 2008 APRIL 9 'CARTWHEEL CME' FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Savage, Sabrina L.; McKenzie, David E.; Longcope, Dana W.; Reeves, Katharine K.; Forbes, Terry G.

    2010-10-10

    Supra-arcade downflows (SADs) have been observed with Yohkoh/SXT (soft X-rays (SXR)), TRACE (extreme ultraviolet (EUV)), SOHO/LASCO (white light), SOHO/SUMER (EUV spectra), and Hinode/XRT (SXR). Characteristics such as low emissivity and trajectories, which slow as they reach the top of the arcade, are consistent with post-reconnection magnetic flux tubes retracting from a reconnection site high in the corona until they reach a lower-energy magnetic configuration. Viewed from a perpendicular angle, SADs should appear as shrinking loops rather than downflowing voids. We present X-ray Telescope (XRT) observations of supra-arcade downflowing loops (SADLs) following a coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2008 April 9 and show that their speeds and decelerations are consistent with those determined for SADs. We also present evidence for a possible current sheet observed during this flare that extends between the flare arcade and the CME. Additionally, we show a correlation between reconnection outflows observed with XRT and outgoing flows observed with LASCO.

  12. Effect of Current Sheets on the Solar Wind Magnetic Field Power Spectrum from the Ulysses Observation: From Kraichnan to Kolmogorov Scaling

    SciTech Connect

    Li, G.; Miao, B.; Hu, Q.; Qin, G.

    2011-03-25

    The MHD turbulence theory developed by Iroshnikov and Kraichnan predicts a k{sup -1.5} power spectrum. Solar wind observations, however, often show a k{sup -5/3} Kolmogorov scaling. Based on 3 years worth of Ulysses magnetic field data where over 28 000 current sheets are identified, we propose that the current sheet is the cause of the Kolmogorov scaling. We show that for 5 longest current-sheet-free periods the magnetic field power spectra are all described by the Iroshnikov-Kraichnan scaling. In comparison, for 5 periods that have the most number of current sheets, the power spectra all exhibit Kolmogorov scaling. The implication of our results is discussed.

  13. Effect of current sheets on the solar wind magnetic field power spectrum from the Ulysses observation: from Kraichnan to Kolmogorov scaling.

    PubMed

    Li, G; Miao, B; Hu, Q; Qin, G

    2011-03-25

    The MHD turbulence theory developed by Iroshnikov and Kraichnan predicts a k(-1.5) power spectrum. Solar wind observations, however, often show a k(-5/3) Kolmogorov scaling. Based on 3 years worth of Ulysses magnetic field data where over 28,000 current sheets are identified, we propose that the current sheet is the cause of the Kolmogorov scaling. We show that for 5 longest current-sheet-free periods the magnetic field power spectra are all described by the Iroshnikov-Kraichnan scaling. In comparison, for 5 periods that have the most number of current sheets, the power spectra all exhibit Kolmogorov scaling. The implication of our results is discussed. PMID:21517318

  14. Are current sheets the boundary of fluxtubes in the solar wind? -- A study from multiple spacecraft observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, G.; Arnold, L.; Miao, B.; Yan, Y.

    2011-12-01

    G. Li (1,2), L. Arnold (1), B. Miao (3) and Y. Yan (4) (1) Department of Physics, University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL, 35899 (2) CSPAR, University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL, 35899 (3) School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of CHINA, Hefei, China (4) Key Laboratory of Solar Activity, National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100012, China Current sheets is a common structure in the solar wind and is a significant source of solar wind MHD turbulence intermittency. The origin of these structure is presently unknown. Non-linear interactions of the solar wind MHD turbulence can spontaneously generate these structures. On the other hand, there are proposals that these structures may represent relic structures having solar origins. Using a technique developed in [1], we examine current sheets in the solar wind from multiple spacecraft. We identify the "single-peak" and "double-peak" events in the solar wind and discuss possible scenarios for these events and its implication of the origin of the current sheets. [1] Li, G., "Identify current-sheet-like structures in the solar wind", ApJL 672, L65, 2008.

  15. Interactions of the heliospheric current and plasma sheets with the bow shock: Cluster and Polar observations in the magnetosheath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maynard, Nelson C.; Farrugia, Charles J.; Burke, William J.; Ober, Daniel M.; Scudder, Jack D.; Mozer, Forrest S.; Russell, Christopher T.; Rème, Henri; Mouikis, Christopher; Siebert, Keith D.

    2011-01-01

    On 12 March 2001, the Polar and Cluster spacecraft were at subsolar and cusp latitudes in the dayside magnetosheath, respectively, where they monitored the passage by Earth of a large-scale planar structure containing the high-density heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS) and the embedded current sheet. Over significant intervals, as the magnetic hole of the HPS passed Cluster and Polar, magnetic field strengths ∣B∣ were much smaller than expected for the shocked interplanetary magnetic field. For short periods, ∣B∣ even fell below values measured by ACE in the upstream solar wind. Within the magnetic hole the ratio of plasma thermal and magnetic pressures (plasma β) was consistently >100 and exceeded 1000. A temporary increase in lag times for identifiable features in B components to propagate from the location of ACE to those of Cluster and Polar was associated with the expansion (and subsequent compression) of the magnetic field and observed low ∣B∣. Triangulation of the propagation velocity of these features across the four Cluster spacecraft configuration showed consistency with the measured component of ion velocity normal to the large-scale planar structure. B experienced large-amplitude wave activity, including fast magnetosonic waves. Within the low ∣B∣ region, guiding center behavior was disrupted and ions were subject to hydrodynamic rather than magnetohydrodynamic forcing. Under the reported conditions, a significant portion of the interplanetary coupling to the magnetosphere should proceed through interaction with the low-latitude boundary layer. Data acquired during a nearly simultaneous high-latitude pass of a Defense Meteorological Satellites Program satellite are consistent with this conjecture.

  16. An estimation of the electric field in the magnetotail current sheet using the observed energetic ion bulk flow

    SciTech Connect

    Xiaolin Li; Speiser, T.W. NOAA/SEL, Boulder, CO )

    1991-11-01

    It is important to know the electric field in the tail current sheet in order to understand how particles behave and how much energy is being dissipated. The electric field is also a measurement of the reconnection rate during substorms. For the CDAW-6 substorm period of March 22, 1979, the authors used the ion data from the medium energy particles experiment (MEPE) on the ISEE-1 satellite, and studied nine measurements of the 3D distribution function centered on the center of the current sheet. The measured distribution function was then integrated to obtain the average of bulk flow velocity in the geocentric solar ecliptic (GSE) frame. This bulk flow velocity was then broken up into its components perpendicular and parallel to the magnetic field for the nine cases. It was further assumed that the perpendicular component was due, in part, to an energy dependent drift and to an energy independent electric field drift. Using the bulk flow velocities from any two energy channels they can separate out the electric and energy dependent drifts and thus obtain electric field and energy dependent components. The two lowest energy channels (34.3 keV and 54.9 keV) give the main results, and the 80.4 keV and 118.8 keV channels are used as a cross check. They find that E{sub x} fluctuates approximately {plus minus}5 mV/m, and E{sub y} {plus minus} 10 mV/m, in reasonable agreement with measurements by the electric field instrument, with most of the fluctuation presumably due to the motion of the current sheet. Using current sheet oscillation theory and the central current sheet data points, they can estimate E{sub y} in the frame of the current sheet and find a positive average E{sub y} with a magnitude of {approx} 0.1 mV/m, which is also consistent with that expected for reconnection in this substorm time period.

  17. Structure of the Magnetotail Current Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Douglas J.; Kaufmann, Richard L.

    1996-01-01

    An orbit tracing technique was used to generate current sheets for three magnetotail models. Groups of ions were followed to calculate the resulting cross-tail current. Several groups then were combined to produce a current sheet. The goal is a model in which the ions and associated electrons carry the electric current distribution needed to generate the magnetic field B in which ion orbits were traced. The region -20 R(E) less than x less than -14 R(E) in geocentric solar magnetospheric coordinates was studied. Emphasis was placed on identifying the categories of ion orbits which contribute most to the cross-tail current and on gaining physical insight into the manner by which the ions carry the observed current distribution. Ions that were trapped near z = 0, ions that magnetically mirrored throughout the current sheet, and ions that mirrored near the Earth all were needed. The current sheet structure was determined primarily by ion magnetization currents. Electrons of the observed energies carried relatively little cross-tail current in these quiet time current sheets. Distribution functions were generated and integrated to evaluate fluid parameters. An earlier model in which B depended only on z produced a consistent current sheet, but it did not provide a realistic representation of the Earth's middle magnetotail. In the present study, B changed substantially in the x and z directions but only weakly in the y direction within our region of interest. Plasmas with three characteristic particle energies were used with each of the magnetic field models. A plasma was found for each model in which the density, average energy, cross-tail current, and bulk flow velocity agreed well with satellite observations.

  18. Structure of the Magnetotail Current Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Douglas J.; Kaufmann, Richard L.

    1996-01-01

    An orbit tracing technique was used to generate current sheets for three magnetotail models. Groups of ions were followed to calculate the resulting cross-tail current. Several groups then were combined to produce a current sheet. The goal is a model in which the ions and associated electrons carry the electric current distribution needed to generate the magnetic field B in which ion orbits were traced. The region -20 R(sub E) less than x less than - 14 R(sub E) in geocentric solar magnetospheric coordinates was studied. Emphasis was placed on identifying the categories of ion orbits which contribute most to the cross-tail current and on gaining physical insight into the manner by which the ions carry the observed current distribution. Ions that were trapped near z = 0, ions that magnetically mirrored throughout the current sheet, and ions that mirrored near the Earth all were needed. The current sheet structure was determined primarily by ion magnetization currents. Electrons of the observed energies carried relatively little cross-tail current in these quiet time current sheets. Distribution functions were generated and integrated to evaluate fluid parameters. An earlier model in which B depended only on z produced a consistent current sheet, but it did not provide a realistic representation of the Earth's middle magnetotail. In the present study, B changed substantially in the x and z directions but only weakly in the y direction within our region of interest. Plasmas with three characteristic particle energies were used with each of the magnetic field models. A plasma was found for each model in which the density, average energy, cross-tail current, and bulk flow velocity agreed well with satellite observations.

  19. Assessing the Current Evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet by Means of Satellite and Ground-Based Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groh, A.; Ewert, H.; Fritsche, M.; Rülke, A.; Rosenau, R.; Scheinert, M.; Dietrich, R.

    2014-11-01

    The present study utilises different satellite and ground-based geodetic observations in order to assess the current evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). Satellite gravimetry data acquired by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment are used to derive ice-mass changes for the period from 2003 to 2012. The inferred time series are investigated regarding long-term, seasonal and interannual variations. Laser altimetry data acquired by the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) are utilised to solve for linear and seasonal changes in the ice-surface height and to infer independent mass-change estimates for the entire GIS and its major drainage basins. We demonstrate that common signals can be identified in the results of both sensors. Moreover, the analysis of a Global Positioning System (GPS) campaign network in West Greenland for the period 1995-2007 allows us to derive crustal deformation caused by glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and by present-day ice-mass changes. ICESat-derived elastic crustal deformations are evaluated comparing them with GPS-observed uplift rates which were corrected for the GIA effect inferred by model predictions. Existing differences can be related to the limited resolution of ICESat. Such differences are mostly evident in dynamical regions such as the Disko Bay region including the rapidly changing Jakobshavn Isbræ, which is investigated in more detail. Glacier flow velocities are inferred from satellite imagery yielding an accelerated flow from 1999 to 2012. Since our GPS observations cover a period of more than a decade, changes in the vertical uplift rates can also be investigated. It turns out that the increased mass loss of the glacier is also reflected by an accelerated vertical uplift.

  20. The magnetohydrodynamics of current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priest, E. R.

    1985-01-01

    Examples of current sheets are summarized and their formation is described. A universal phenomenon in cosmic plasmas is the creation of sheets off intense current near X-type neutral points (where the magnetic field vanishes). These sheets are important as sites where the magnetic-field energy is converted efficiently into heat and bulk kinetic energy and where particles can be accelerated to high energies. Examples include disruptions in laboratory tokamaks, substorms in the earth's magnetosphere, and flares on the sun. The basic behavior of a one-dimensional sheet is presented, together with an account of the linear tearing-mode instability that can cause the field lines in such a sheet to reconnect. Such reconnection may develop in different ways: it may arise from a spontaneous instability or it may be driven, either from outside by motions or locally by a resistivity enhancement. Various processes are described that may occur during the nonlinear development of tearing, along with the many numerical and laboratory experiments that are aiding our understanding of this intriguing cosmical process.

  1. Properties of a large-scale flux rope and current sheet region on the dayside of Mars: MGS MAG/ER and MEX ASPERA-3 ELS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soobiah, Yasir I. J.; Wild, James A.; Beharrell, Mathew J.; Barabash, Stas; Lillis, Robert J.; Mitchell, David L.; Coates, Andrew J.; Winningham, J. David; Frahm, Rudy A.

    2014-11-01

    We present dual spacecraft observations by MGS MAG/ER and MEX ASPERA-3 ELS of a large-scale magnetic flux rope on the dayside of Mars that occurs in close proximity to the crustal magnetic fields and a dayside current sheet region. A current sheet (including the large-scale flux rope) was observed on repeated MGS orbits when the draped solar wind magnetic field present in the ionosphere had a +By component (in MSO). Minimum Variance Analysis (MVA) of the large-scale flux rope and two current sheet crossings that occur after show a common peak in magnetic field along the intermediate variance direction, indicating the normal component of a reconnecting current sheet. All repeated orbits demonstrated evidence of a plasma boundary by the decrease in electron differential flux above 100 eV when moving into regions dominated by the crustal magnetic field, and coincided with the measured magnetic field strength being double the undisturbed crustal magnetic field. We argue this forms evidence of magnetic reconnection between crustal magnetic fields and draped solar wind magnetic field (from ionosphere or magnetosheath) at a "mini-magnetopause" type boundary on the dayside of Mars. Similar electron pitch angle distributions observed during the large-scale flux rope, current sheet crossings, and regions of radial crustal magnetic field, suggest these regions share a common magnetic field topology for the trapping of magnetosheath particles on open crustal magnetic fields on the dayside of Mars. As such, indicates a trapping quadrupole magnetic field exist either at the magnetic reconnection X-line region or where open crustal magnetic fields meet oppositely directed solar wind magnetic field. At a time when the draped solar wind magnetic field present in the ionosphere was weaker in strength, the current sheet crossing was observed over an extended region of 2000 km. The extended current sheet demonstrated properties of a hot diamagnetic region and features of a mirror mode

  2. The Jovian magnetotail and its current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.; Ness, N. F.

    1980-01-01

    Analyses of Voyager magnetic field measurements have extended the understanding of the structural and temporal characteristics of Jupiter's magnetic tail. The magnitude of the magnetic field in the lobes of the tail is found to decrease with Jovicentric distance approximately as r to he-1.4, compared with the power law exponent of -1.7 found for the rate of decrease along the Pioneer 10 outbound trajectory. Voyager observations of magnetic field component variations with Jovicentric distance in the tail do not support the uniform radial plasma outflow model derived from Pioneer data. Voyager 2 has shown that the azimuthal current sheet which surrounds Jupiter in the inner and middle magnetosphere extends tailward (in the anti-Sun direction) to a distance of at least 100 R sub J. In the tail this current sheet consists of a plasma sheet and embedded neutral sheet. In the region of the tail where the sheet is observed, the variation of the magnetic field as a result of the sheet structure and its 10 hr periodic motion is the dominant variation seen.

  3. RADIATING CURRENT SHEETS IN THE SOLAR CHROMOSPHERE

    SciTech Connect

    Goodman, Michael L.; Judge, Philip G. E-mail: judge@ucar.edu

    2012-05-20

    An MHD model of a hydrogen plasma with flow, an energy equation, NLTE ionization and radiative cooling, and an Ohm's law with anisotropic electrical conduction and thermoelectric effects is used to self-consistently generate atmospheric layers over a 50 km height range. A subset of these solutions contains current sheets and has properties similar to those of the lower and middle chromosphere. The magnetic field profiles are found to be close to Harris sheet profiles, with maximum field strengths {approx}25-150 G. The radiative flux F{sub R} emitted by individual sheets is {approx}4.9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 5}-4.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}, to be compared with the observed chromospheric emission rate of {approx}10{sup 7} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1}. Essentially all emission is from regions with thicknesses {approx}0.5-13 km containing the neutral sheet. About half of F{sub R} comes from sub-regions with thicknesses 10 times smaller. A resolution {approx}< 5-130 m is needed to resolve the properties of the sheets. The sheets have total H densities {approx}10{sup 13}-10{sup 15} cm{sup -3}. The ionization fraction in the sheets is {approx}2-20 times larger, and the temperature is {approx}2000-3000 K higher than in the surrounding plasma. The Joule heating flux F{sub J} exceeds F{sub R} by {approx}4%-34%, the difference being balanced in the energy equation mainly by a negative compressive heating flux. Proton Pedersen current dissipation generates {approx}62%-77% of the positive contribution to F{sub J} . The remainder of this contribution is due to electron current dissipation near the neutral sheet where the plasma is weakly magnetized.

  4. Multi-point, multi-scale observation of the near-Earth current sheet reconfiguration during storm-time multi-onset substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, R.; Baumjohann, W.; Plaschke, F.; Narita, Y.; Schmid, D.; Panov, E. V.; Andriopoulou, M.; Voros, Z.; Magnes, W.; Fischer, D.; Steller, M.; Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Leinweber, H. K.; Le, G.; Bromund, K. R.; Anderson, B. J.; Chutter, M.; Slavin, J. A.; Kepko, L.; Vaith, H.; Le Contel, O.; Argall, M. R.; Ergun, R. E.; Lindqvist, P. A.; Marklund, G. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Pollock, C. J.; Dorelli, J.; Gershman, D. J.; Fuselier, S. A.; Mauk, B.; Baker, D. N.; Giles, B. L.; Moore, T. E.; Singer, H. J.; Sergeev, V. A.; Escoubet, C. P.

    2015-12-01

    On June 23, 2015 between 03 and 06 UT, during the recovery phase of a storm, signatures of two major substorms with multiple-onsets are detected by a fleet of spacecraft in the near-Earth region providing an unique opportunity to study the evolution of the near-Earth current sheet reconfiguration from sub-ion scale to larger scale across the inner magnetosphere. The two onsets around 0315 and 0505 are observed by MMS near the boundary of the premidnight-plasma sheet as a thinning of the current sheet and as dipolarization at GOES 13 and 15 in the dusk to premidnight region, then followed by crossing of an active separatrix region. By using high-resolution magnetic field data onboard MMS, we investigate the detailed propagation properties of the disturbances and structures based on different multi-point analysis techniques (timing, gradient, and wave telescope analysis). By also comparing with current wedge model from ground-based data we identify the 3D evolution of the near-Earth current sheet.

  5. Birkeland currents in the plasma sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsyganenko, Nikolai A.; Stern, David P.; Kaymaz, Zerefsan

    1993-01-01

    A search was conducted for the signatures of Birkeland currents in the Earth's magnetic tail, using observed values of B(sub x) and B(sub y) from large sets of spacecraft data. The data were binned by x and y for -10 greater than x(sub GSM) greater than -35 and absolute value of y(sub GSM) less than or equal to 20 R(sub E) (less than or equal to 30 R(sub E) for x(sub GSM) less than or equal to -25 R(sub E)) and in each bin their distribution in the (B(sub x), B(sub y)) plane was fitted by least squares to a piecewise linear function. That gave average x-y distributions of the flaring angle between B(sub xy) and the x direction, as well as that angle's variation across the thickness of the plasma sheet. Angles obtained in the central plasma sheet differed from those derived near the lobe boundary. That is the expected signature if earthward or tailward Birkeland current sheets are embedded in the plasma sheet, and from this dfiference we derived the dawn-dusk profiles of the tail Birkeland currents for several x(sub GSM) intervals. It was found that (1) the Birkeland currents have the sense of region 1 currents, when mapped to the ionosphere; (2) both the linear current density (kiloamperes/R(sub E)) and the net magnitude of the field-aligned currents decrease rapidly down the tail; (3) the total Birkeland current at x approximately equals -10 R(sub E) equals approximately equals 500-700 kA, which is approx. 30% of the net region 1 current observed at ionospheric altitudes, in agreement with model mapping results; and (4) the B(sub z) and B(sub y) components of the interplanetary magnetic field influence the distribution of Birkeland currents in the tail.

  6. Thin current sheets in the deep geomagnetic tail

    SciTech Connect

    Pulkkinen, T.I. ); Baker, D.N.; Owen, C.J. ); Gosling, J.T. ); Murphy, N. )

    1993-11-19

    The ISEE-3 magnetic field and plasma electron data from Jan-March 1983 have been searched to study thin current sheets in the deep tail region. 33 events were selected where the spacecraft crossed through the current sheet from lobe to lobe within 15 minutes. The average thickness of the observed current sheets was 2.45R[sub E], and in 24 cases the current sheet was thinner than 3.0R[sub E]; 6 very thin current sheets (thickness [lambda] < 0.5R[sub E]) were found. The electron data show that the very thin current sheets are associated with considerable temperature anisotropy. On average, the electron gradient current was [approximately]17% of the total current, whereas the current arising from the electron temperature anisotropy varied between 8-45% of the total current determined from the lobe field magnitude. 21 refs., 5 figs.

  7. Thin current sheets in the deep geomagnetic tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Owen, C. J.; Gosling, J. T.; Murphy, N.

    1993-01-01

    The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3) magnetic field and plasma electron data from Jan - March 1983 have been searched to study thin current sheets in the deep tail region. 33 events were selected where the spacecraft crossed through the current sheet from lobe to lobe within 15 minutes. The average thickness of the observed current sheets was 2.45 R(sub E), and in 24 cases the current sheet was thinner than 3.0 R(sub E); 6 very thin current sheets (thickness lambda less than 0.5 R(sub E) were found. The electron data show that the very thin current sheets are associated with considerable temperature anisotropy. On average, the electron gradient current was about 17% of the total current, whereas the current arising from the electron temperature anisotropy varied between 8-45% of the total current determined from the lobe field magnitude.

  8. Simultaneous observation of the poleward expansion of substorm electrojet activity and the tailward expansion of current sheet disruption in the near-earth magnetotail

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, R.E. ); Koskinen, H.E.J.; Pulkkinen, T.I. ); Boesinger, T. ); McEntire, R.W.; Potemra, T.A. )

    1993-06-01

    This paper reports on observations of a magnetospheric substorm on June 7, 1985. This event was observed simultaneously by a number of different systems. Particle and magnetic field data were collected by AMPTE/CCE, located near the neutral sheet; magnetic field data was monitored by the EISCAT magnetometer cross; STARE radar data was also collected; and Pi 1 data from Sodankyla. The ground based systems observed the poleward and westward expansion of electrojet activity at the start of the storm. The satellite was able to see the storms onset, and record perturbations in the current sheet at the onset of the substorm, in addition to later perturbations, which the authors argue originates tailward of the satellite. Satellite measurements are shown to occur in conjunction with ground events.

  9. Ohm's law for a current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyons, L. R.; Speiser, T. W.

    1985-01-01

    The paper derives an Ohm's law for single-particle motion in a current sheet, where the magnetic field reverses in direction across the sheet. The result is considerably different from the resistive Ohm's law often used in MHD studies of the geomagnetic tail. Single-particle analysis is extended to obtain a self-consistency relation for a current sheet which agrees with previous results. The results are applicable to the concept of reconnection in that the electric field parallel to the current is obtained for a one-dimensional current sheet with constant normal magnetic field. Dissipated energy goes directly into accelerating particles within the current sheet.

  10. Runaway electrons in plasma current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Gurevich, A.V.; Sudan, R.N. )

    1994-01-31

    It is shown that a runaway electron population accelerates along the main magnetic field in a Sweet-Parker current sheet. After a characteristic distance the entire current is carried by runaways. The thickness of this runaway sheet is much smaller than the original Ohmic sheet. The influence of microinstabilities is discussed.

  11. Current Sheet Thinning Associated with Dayside Reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, M.; Otto, A.; Ma, X.

    2011-12-01

    The thinning of the near-Earth current sheet during the growth phase is of critical importance to understand geomagnetic substorms and the conditions that lead to the onset of the expansion phase. We have proposed that convection from the midnight tail region to the dayside as the cause for this current sheet thinning. Adiabatic convection from the near-Earth tail region toward the dayside must conserve the entropy on magnetic field lines. This constraint prohibits a source of the magnetic flux from a region further out in the magnetotail. Thus the near-Earth tail region is increasingly depleted of magnetic flux (the Erickson and Wolf [1980] problem) with entropy matching that of flux tubes that are eroded on the dayside. The process is examined by three-dimensional MHD simulations. The properties of the current sheet thinning are determined as a function of the magnitude of convection toward the dayside and the lobe boundary conditions. It is shown that the model yields a time scale, location, and other general characteristics of the current sheet evolution consistent with observations during the substorm growth phase.

  12. Can prominences form in current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malherbe, J. M.; Forbes, T. G.

    1986-01-01

    Two-dimensional numerical simulations of the formation of cold condensations in a vertical current sheet have been performed using the radiative, resistive MHD equations with line-tied boundary conditions at one end of the sheet. Prominence-like condensations are observed to appear above and below an X-line produced by the onset of the tearing-mode instability. Cooling in the sheet is initiated by Ohmic decay, with the densest condensations occurring in the region downstream of a fast-mode shock. This shock, which is due to the line-tied boundary conditions, terminates one of the two supermagnetosonic reconnection jets that develop when the tearing is fully developed. The condensation properties of shock waves, which may trigger or considerably enhance the conditions for thermal condensation are emphasized.

  13. The Dynamical Generation of Current Sheets in Astrophysical Plasma Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howes, Gregory G.

    2016-08-01

    Turbulence profoundly affects particle transport and plasma heating in many astrophysical plasma environments, from galaxy clusters to the solar corona and solar wind to Earth's magnetosphere. Both fluid and kinetic simulations of plasma turbulence ubiquitously generate coherent structures, in the form of current sheets, at small scales, and the locations of these current sheets appear to be associated with enhanced rates of dissipation of the turbulent energy. Therefore, illuminating the origin and nature of these current sheets is critical to identifying the dominant physical mechanisms of dissipation, a primary aim at the forefront of plasma turbulence research. Here, we present evidence from nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations that strong nonlinear interactions between counterpropagating Alfvén waves, or strong Alfvén wave collisions, are a natural mechanism for the generation of current sheets in plasma turbulence. Furthermore, we conceptually explain this current sheet development in terms of the nonlinear dynamics of Alfvén wave collisions, showing that these current sheets arise through constructive interference among the initial Alfvén waves and nonlinearly generated modes. The properties of current sheets generated by strong Alfvén wave collisions are compared to published observations of current sheets in the Earth's magnetosheath and the solar wind, and the nature of these current sheets leads to the expectation that Landau damping of the constituent Alfvén waves plays a dominant role in the damping of turbulently generated current sheets.

  14. Hybrid simulations of thin current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkhart, G. R.; Dusenbery, P. B.; Speiser, T. W.

    1993-01-01

    A one-dimensional, hybrid simulation code is used to study current sheets with a nonzero normal magnetic field B(sub z) and a dawn-to-dusk electric field E(sub y). Such configurations are dependent upon only two parameters: we use the normalized normal magnetic field B-normalized (sub z) = B(sub z)/(4(pi)(n(sub b)) (v(exp 2 sub T))(exp 1/2) and normalized electric field V-normalized (sub D) = (1/V(sub T)(cE(sub y)/B(sub z)), where V(sub T) is the thermal velocity of ions prior to their interaction with the current sheet and n(sub b) is the number density outside the current sheet (at the simulation boundary). A third parameter that is relevant to the motion of particles in current sheets is kappa(sub A), the value of kappa = (R(sub min)/rho(sub max))(exp 1/2) for particles of average energy. We find that if either B-normalized (sub z) is close to or greater than 1, or if kappa(sub A) is close to 1, a rotational mode develops in which the z = 0 current rotates with the ion sense about the normal magnetic field, while for small values of both B-normalized (sub z) or kappa(sub A), the configuration is quasi-steady. To achieve values of kappa(sub A) of the order of or larger than 1, we decrease the value of V-normalized (sub D) uniformly. We find that the magnetic field fluctuations and particle distribution functions are similar in many respects to what was observed in the day 240, 1986, Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explorer (AMPTE)/CCE current disruption event, an event that appears to be located at the site of initiation of current disruption and related particle energization.

  15. A comparison of coronal and interplanetary current sheet inclinations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.; Hundhausen, A. J.

    1983-01-01

    The HAO white light K-coronameter observations show that the inclination of the heliospheric current sheet at the base of the corona can be both large (nearly vertical with respect to the solar equator) or small during Cararington rotations 1660 - 1666 and even on a single solar rotation. Voyager 1 and 2 magnetic field observations of crossing of the heliospheric current sheet at distances from the Sun of 1.4 and 2.8 AU. Two cases are considered, one in which the corresponding coronameter data indicate a nearly vertical (north-south) current sheet and another in which a nearly horizontal, near equatorial current sheet is indicated. For the crossings of the vertical current sheet, a variance analysis based on hour averages of the magnetic field data gave a minimum variance direction consistent with a steep inclination. The horizontal current sheet was observed by Voyager as a region of mixed polarity and low speeds lasting several days, consistent with multiple crossings of a horizontal but irregular and fluctuating current sheet at 1.4 AU. However, variance analysis of individual current sheet crossings in this interval using 1.92 see averages did not give minimum variance directions consistent with a horizontal current sheet.

  16. Thinning of current sheets and magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.; Deverapalli, C.

    Using three-dimensional particle-in-cell (3DPIC) simulations, we study the formation of a thin current sheet. The processes associated with thin current sheets reported here include its thinning, associated potential well in its central part, ion acceleration into the well, current-driven ion mode instabilities, electron and ion heating, current sheet re- broadening, current disruption in the central part of the current sheet and magnetic reconnection. It is shown that current driven instabilities become explosive when the preferential heating of electrons by the ions make electron temperature higher than that of the ions. This explosive stage is associated with high plasma resistivity, current disruption and bifurcated current sheets. The current disruption is linked to the magnetic reconnection.

  17. Cusp-points and current sheet dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vainshtein, S. I.

    1990-04-01

    Cusp points are produced in magnetic streamers of the solar corona. They may also be produced in the tail region of the earth's magnetosphere. This paper makes an analysis of such points in an equilibrium plasma. It is found that the very presence of a cusp point is inevitably associated with current sheets; these are the site of magnetic-field line reconnection. Special attention is paid to two examples. One examines a current sheet in a very much rarefield plasma (a problem formulated by Syrovatskii, 1966). The other one investigates the rosette structure of two merging magnetic islands. Analysis of the plasma behavior in the vicinity of the cusp points shows that, in the latter case, equilibrium cannot be realized. Therefore reconnection must proceed violently, at the high rates observed in numerical simulations.

  18. MESSENGER and Venus Express Observations of the Near-tail of Venus: Magnetic Flux Transport, Current Sheet Structure, and Flux Rope Formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sarantos, M.; Acuna, M. H.; Anderson, B. J.; Barabash, S.; Benna, M.; Fraenz, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R. E.; Ho, G. C.; Korth, H.; Krimigis, S. M.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Raines, J. M.; Solomon, S. C.; Zhang, T.-L.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2008-01-01

    At 23:08 UT on 5 June 2007 the MESSENGER spacecraft reached its closest approach altitude (338 km) during its second flyby of Venus en route to its 2011 orbit insertion at Mercury. Whereas no measurements were collected during MESSENGER'S first Venus flyby in October 2006, the Magnetometer (MAG) and the Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS) operated successfully throughout this second encounter. Venus provides the solar system's best example to date of a solar wind - ionosphere planetary interaction. We present MESSENGER observations of the near-tail of Venus with emphasis on determining the time scales for magnetic flux transport, the structure of the cross-tail current sheet at very low altitudes (approx. 300 to 1000 km), and the nature and origin of a magnetic flux rope observed in the current sheet. The availability of the simultaneous Venus Express upstream measurements provides a unique opportunity to examine the influence of solar wind plasma and interplanetary magnetic field conditions on this planet's solar wind interaction at solar minimum.

  19. Topology and Stability of EMHD Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrutia, J. M.; Stenzel, R. L.

    1997-11-01

    Thin current sheets (c/ω_pe < d < r_ci) are governed by electron MHD effects. Their width, stability, and current limitations are important to the magnetic reconnection problem.(J. F. Drake et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 73), 1251 (1994); S. V. Bulanov et al, Phys. Fluids B 4, 36 (1992). Using a large laboratory plasma we generate thin current sheets by drawing pulsed currents to a sheet electrode. The space-time evolution of the current sheet is obtained from three-dimensional magnetic probe measurements and J = nabla × B / μ_0. The current sheet is guided by a uniform axial magnetic field B_0. Time variations in the current sheet, accompanied by induced return currents, propagate in the whistler mode along B_0. While force-free EMHD fields usually produce stable current sheets, on longer time scales the ion motion can lead to current disruptions.(J. M. Urrutia and R. L. Stenzel, Phys. Plasmas 4), 36 (1997). Electron compressibility (d < c/ω_ce) and the role of B0 are investigated.

  20. The origin of the warped heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1980-03-01

    The warped heliospheric current sheet in early 1976 was calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field using a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity in early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere at Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11 and Earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field, and that "ballerina skirt" effects may add small scale ripples.

  1. The origin of the warped heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1980-01-01

    The warped heliospheric current sheet in early 1976 was calculated from the observed photospheric magnetic field using a potential field method. Comparisons with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field polarity in early 1976 obtained at several locations in the heliosphere at Helios 1, Helios 2, Pioneer 11 and Earth show a rather detailed agreement between the computed current sheet and the observations. It appears that the large scale structure of the warped heliospheric current sheet is determined by the structure of the photospheric magnetic field, and that "ballerina skirt" effects may add small scale ripples.

  2. Current sheets in the solar corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strauss, H. R.; Otani, N. F.

    1988-01-01

    Coronal magnetic fields are twisted up by motion of their footpoints in the photosphere. When the twist exceeds a critical amount, kink-ballooning instabilities occur. These instabilities are studied numerically, in long, thin, axially bounded magnetic fields. Nonlinearly, the three-dimensional kinking motion compresses magnetic flux, forming a current sheet. Magnetic energy can be dissipated at a rate orders of magnitude greater than without the current sheets. The energy of footpoint motion can then go into coronal heating, via Ohmic dissipation in the current sheets.

  3. Fine-scale structure of the Jovian magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behannon, K. W.

    1983-01-01

    During the outbound leg of its passage through the Jovian magnetosphere in the Voyager 2 spacecraft observed 50 traversals of the magnetotail current sheet during a 10 day period at distances between 30 and 130 R sub j. Analysis of these observations shown that the Jovian tail sheet tends to lie approximately parallel to the ecliptic plane and to oscillate about the tail axis with the 10 hour planetary rotation period. The magnetic structure near and within the current sheet was variable with time and distance from Jupiter, but generally corresponded to one of the following: (1) simple rotation of field across the sheet, with an approximately southward direction in the sheet (generally northward beyond a distance from Jupiter of approximately 84 R sub j; (2) field having a southward component in a broad region near the sheet, but northward in a restricted region at the sheet itself; or (3) a clear bipolar variation of the sheet normal field component as the sheet was crossed (i.e., the field became northward and then southward, or vice versa, in crossing the sheet).

  4. Observations of Double Layers in Earth's Plasma Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Ergun, R. E.; Tao, J.; Andersson, L.; Eriksson, S.; Johansson, T.; Angelopoulos, V.; Bonnell, J.; McFadden, J. P.; Larson, D. E.; Cully, C. M.; Newman, D. N.; Goldman, M. V.; Roux, A.; LeContel, O.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Baumjohann, W.

    2009-04-17

    We report the first direct observations of parallel electric fields (E{sub parallel}) carried by double layers (DLs) in the plasma sheet of Earth's magnetosphere. The DL observations, made by the THEMIS spacecraft, have E{sub parallel} signals that are analogous to those reported in the auroral region. DLs are observed during bursty bulk flow events, in the current sheet, and in plasma sheet boundary layer, all during periods of strong magnetic fluctuations. These observations imply that DLs are a universal process and that strongly nonlinear and kinetic behavior is intrinsic to Earth's plasma sheet.

  5. Observations of double layers in earth's plasma sheet.

    PubMed

    Ergun, R E; Andersson, L; Tao, J; Angelopoulos, V; Bonnell, J; McFadden, J P; Larson, D E; Eriksson, S; Johansson, T; Cully, C M; Newman, D N; Goldman, M V; Roux, A; LeContel, O; Glassmeier, K-H; Baumjohann, W

    2009-04-17

    We report the first direct observations of parallel electric fields (E_{ parallel}) carried by double layers (DLs) in the plasma sheet of Earth's magnetosphere. The DL observations, made by the THEMIS spacecraft, have E_{ parallel} signals that are analogous to those reported in the auroral region. DLs are observed during bursty bulk flow events, in the current sheet, and in plasma sheet boundary layer, all during periods of strong magnetic fluctuations. These observations imply that DLs are a universal process and that strongly nonlinear and kinetic behavior is intrinsic to Earth's plasma sheet. PMID:19518640

  6. Multipoint studies of 2D magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrukovich, Anatoli; Zelenyi, Lev; Nakamura, Rumi; Artemyev, Anton

    2016-07-01

    CLUSTER and Themis projects provide unique tools for magnetotail current sheet studies at a wide range of downtail distances: multipoint curlometer allows to measure electric current density, whereas regular electron data contains information on largescale tail structure. Observations show that moderately thin ion-scale embedded sheet is formed during substorm growth phase. Comparison of curlometer with particle data helps to estimate contributions of transient and magnetized ions as well as electrons to current density. Thin intense sheet with sub-ion scale is appearing after onset near reconnection zones, but vertical pressure balance requirement substantially limits the possible range of sheet thickness. Horizontal (along the tail) gradients become more important only in the near tail, within 10-12 Earth radii. Essential quantitative characteristics of ions-scale embedded sheet are boundary field b0 and maximal possible intensity of ion current.

  7. MMS observations of small-scale field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during storm-time substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Rumi

    2016-04-01

    During major substorms at 0315 and 0505 UT on June 23 2015, the four MMS spacecraft, located near the center of the current wedge, enabled us to resolve detailed properties of the field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during its thinning and expansion. In particular, during the expansion of the plasma sheet, transient small-scale field-aligned currents were detected near the large-scale separatrix region. In this study we analyze their temporal and spatial evolution based on multi-point measurements of fields and plasma. We found ion-scale downward field-aligned currents, which are well correlated with the field-aligned upward electron beams. These upward electrons are most likely accelerated between the ionosphere and the spacecraft, and are associated with the intensified reconnection jets that cause the expansion of the plasma sheet.

  8. Spatial-temporal characteristics of ion acceleration sites in the Current Sheet of the Earth's magnetotail. Multipoint Cluster observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigorenko, E. E.; Sauvaud, J. A.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    The processes of non-adiabatic ion acceleration occurring in the vicinity of magnetic X-line produce highly accelerated up to 2500km s field-aligned ion beams beamlets with transient appearance streaming earthward in the PSBL of magnetotail Previous studies of these phenomena based on the data from one-spacecraft missions supported a view on beamlets as of temporal transients since the typical time of beamlet observation at a given spacecraft was 1-2min Now multipoint Cluster observations brought new understanding of these phenomena as having a rather spatial than temporal structure Comparison of data from different Cluster spacecraft allows to evaluate the duration of beamlets to be at least 5-15 min and confirms their well-defined localization along Y Z directions i e across the lobe magnetic field Earlier results reporting shorter duration of beamlet observations could be understood by the invoking of an additional effect revealed by Cluster earthward propagation of kink-like perturbations along the beamlet filaments Phase velocity of these perturbations is of the order of the local Alfven velocity V 600-1000km s and related fast flappings of localized beamlet structures in Y-Z direction significantly decreases the time of their observation at a given spacecraft Such Alfvenic-type disturbances may be caused by classical fire-hose instability which develops at the moment of beamlet ejection from the CS to the lobe region of the distant magnetotail where the lobe magnetic field is not too large and the conditions for a such pressure anisotropy

  9. Eigenmodes of quasi-static magnetic islands in current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Li Yi; Cai Xiaohui; Chai Lihui; Wang Shui; Zheng Huinan; Shen Chao

    2011-12-15

    As observation have shown, magnetic islands often appear before and/or after the onset of magnetic reconnections in the current sheets, and they also appear in the current sheets in the solar corona, Earth's magnetotail, and Earth's magnetopause. Thus, the existence of magnetic islands can affect the initial conditions in magnetic reconnection. In this paper, we propose a model of quasi-static magnetic island eigenmodes in the current sheet. This model analytically describes the magnetic field structures in the quasi-static case, which will provide a possible approach to reconstructing the magnetic structures in the current sheet via observation data. This model is self-consistent in the kinetic theory. Also, the distribution function of charged particles in the magnetic island can be calculated.

  10. Eruptive Current Sheets Trailing SOHO/LASCO CMEs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, David F.

    2015-04-01

    Current sheets are important signatures of magnetic reconnection during the eruption of solar magnetic structures. Many models of eruptive flare/Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) involve formation of a current sheet connecting the ejecting CME flux rope with the post-eruption magnetic loop arcade. Current sheets have been interpreted in white light images as narrow rays trailing the outward-moving CME, in ultraviolet spectra as narrow, bright hot features, and with different manifestations in other wavebands. This study continues that of Webb et al. (2003), who analyzed SMM white light CMEs having candidate magnetic disconnection features at the base of the CME. About half of those were followed by coaxial, bright rays suggestive of newly formed current sheets, and Webb et al. (2003) presented detailed results of analysis of those structures. In this work we extend the study of white light eruptive current sheets to the more sensitive and extensive SOHO/LASCO coronagraph data on CMEs. We comprehensively examined all LASCO CMEs during two periods that we identify with the minimum and maximum activity of solar cycle 23. We identified ~130 ray/current sheets during these periods, nearly all of which trailed CMEs with concave-outward backs. The occurrence rate of the ray/current sheets is 6-7% of all CMEs, irrespective of the solar cycle. We analyze the rays for durations, speeds, alignments, and motions and compare the observational results with some model predictions.

  11. Solar wind and substorm excitation of the wavy current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsyth, C.; Lester, M.; Fear, R. C.; Lucek, E.; Dandouras, I.; Fazakerley, A. N.; Singer, H.; Yeoman, T. K.

    2009-06-01

    Following a solar wind pressure pulse on 3 August 2001, GOES 8, GOES 10, Cluster and Polar observed dipolarizations of the magnetic field, accompanied by an eastward expansion of the aurora observed by IMAGE, indicating the occurrence of two substorms. Prior to the first substorm, the motion of the plasma sheet with respect to Cluster was in the ZGSM direction. Observations following the substorms show the occurrence of current sheet waves moving predominantly in the -YGSM direction. Following the second substorm, the current sheet waves caused multiple current sheet crossings of the Cluster spacecraft, previously studied by Zhang et al. (2002). We further this study to show that the velocity of the current sheet waves was similar to the expansion velocity of the substorm aurora and the expansion of the dipolarization regions in the magnetotail. Furthermore, we compare these results with the current sheet wave models of Golovchanskaya and Maltsev (2005) and Erkaev et al. (2008). We find that the Erkaev et al. (2008) model gives the best fit to the observations.

  12. Plasma in the Jovian current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goertz, C. K.; Van Allen, J. A.; Parish, J. L.; Schardt, A. W.

    1979-01-01

    A large body of spectral data for protons with energies greater than 200 keV has been analyzed. It is concluded that the main body of plasma in the Jovian current sheet observed by Pioneer 10 on its outbound pass probably has an energy well below the lowest threshold of the Pioneer 10 detectors. This premise is examined using a semiempirical model of the magnetic field in the magnetodisk and simple magnetohydrodynamic theory. Results indicate that the dominant contribution to the plasma pressure in the region from 25 to 65 Jovian radii is from as yet unobserved protons (ions) with energies of the order of 0.1 to 10 keV.

  13. Charged particle dynamics in turbulent current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemyev, A. V.; Vainchtein, D. L.; Neishtadt, A. I.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2016-05-01

    We study dynamics of charged particle in current sheets with magnetic fluctuations. We use the adiabatic theory to describe the nonperturbed charged particle motion and show that magnetic field fluctuations destroy the adiabatic invariant. We demonstrate that the evolution of particle adiabatic invariant's distribution is described by a diffusion equation and derive analytical estimates of the rate of adiabatic invariant's diffusion. This rate is proportional to power density of magnetic field fluctuations. We compare analytical estimates with numerical simulations. We show that adiabatic invariant diffusion results in transient particles trapping in the current sheet. For magnetic field fluctuation amplitude a few times larger than a normal magnetic field component, more than 50% of transient particles become trapped. We discuss the possible consequences of destruction of adiabaticity of the charged particle motion on the state of the current sheets.

  14. Visco-resistive tearing in thin current sheets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velli, M. M. C.; Tenerani, A.; Rappazzo, A. F.; Pucci, F.

    2014-12-01

    How fast magnetic energy release is triggered and occurs in high Lundquist (S) and high Reynolds number ( R ) plasmas such as that of the solar corona is a fundamental problem for understanding phenomena ranging from coronal heating to flares and CMEs. Diffusion or collisional reconnection driven by macroscopic flows in quasi-steady Sweet-Parker (SP) current sheets are processes far too slow to fit observational data. Spontaneous reconnection, driven by the onset of the tearing instability inside current sheets, provides an alternative paradigm to SP reconnection. Nevertheless, as long as macroscopic current layers are considered, the growth of such an instability is also a slow process. Recently it has been shown that SP current sheets are rapidly unstable in high S plasmas, indeed have a growth rate diverging with increasing S. It has been suggested that such instabilities are triggered during the nonlinear stage of the primary tearing instability of a macroscopic layer. The formation of plasmoids in this presumed SP sheet speeds up the reconnection rate to ideal values. Recently, we have suggested that SP sheets can not be realized in quasi-ideal plasmas, and that the plasmoid instability is triggered on a much larger scale (i.e. with current sheets having a much larger ration of thickness to length than SP). Here we present a linear parametric study of the tearing instability for a Harris current sheet, while taking into account both viscosity and current sheets of variable aspect ratios. The present study shows that an explosive growth of the reconnection rate may be reached during the linear stage, once a critical width of the current layer is reached. In the absence of a strong guide field this depends on viscosity and a range of critical aspect ratios can be found for different values of S, R, or S and Prandtl number.

  15. Bashful Ballerina: Southward shifted Heliospheric Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mursula, K.; Hiltula, T.

    It is known since long (Rosenberg and Coleman, 1969) that one of the two sectors of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) observed at the Earth's orbit dominates at high heliographic latitudes during solar minimum times, reflecting the poloidal structure of the global solar magnetic field at these times. Here we find that while this latitudinal variation of the dominant IMF sector around the solar equator is valid for both solar hemispheres during the last four solar minima covered by direct observations, it is systematically more strongly developed in the northern heliographic hemisphere. This implies that the average heliospheric current sheet is shifted or coned southward during solar minimum times, suggesting that the temporary southward shift of the heliosheet found earlier by Ulysses observations in 1995 is a persistent pattern. This also implies that the open solar magnetic field is north-south asymmetric at these times, suggesting that the solar dynamo has an asymmetric component. Accordingly, the Sun with the heliosheet is like a bashful ballerina who is repeatedly trying to push her excessively high flaring skirt downward. However, the effective shift at 1 AU is only a few degrees, allowing the Rosenberg-Coleman rule to be valid, on an average, in both hemispheres during solar minima.

  16. Bashful ballerina: Southward shifted heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mursula, K.; Hiltula, T.

    2003-11-01

    It is known since long [Rosenberg and Coleman, 1969] that one of the two sectors of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) observed at the Earth's orbit dominates at high heliographic latitudes during solar minimum times, reflecting the poloidal structure of the global solar magnetic field at these times. Here we find that while this latitudinal variation of the dominant IMF sector around the solar equator is valid for both solar hemispheres during the last four solar minima covered by direct observations, it is systematically more strongly developed in the northern heliographic hemisphere. This implies that the average heliospheric current sheet is shifted or coned southward during solar minimum times, suggesting that the temporary southward shift of the heliosheet found earlier by Ulysses observations in 1995 is a persistent pattern. This also implies that the open solar magnetic field is north-south asymmetric at these times, suggesting that the solar dynamo has an asymmetric component. Accordingly, the Sun with the heliosheet is like a bashful ballerina who is repeatedly trying to push her excessively high flaring skirt downward. However, the effective shift at 1 AU is only a few degrees, allowing the Rosenberg-Coleman rule to be valid, on an average, in both hemispheres during solar minima.

  17. On ballooning instability in current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonovich, Anatoliy; Kozlov, Daniil

    2015-06-01

    The problem of instability of the magnetotail current sheet to azimuthally small-scale Alfvén and slow magnetosonic (SMS) waves is solved. The solutions describe unstable oscillations in the presence of a current sheet and correspond to the region of stretched closed field lines of the magnetotail. The spectra of eigen-frequencies of several basic harmonics of standing Alfvén and SMS waves are found in the local and WKB approximation, which are compared. It is shown that the oscillation properties obtained in these approximations differ radically. In the local approximation, the Alfvén waves are stable in the entire range of magnetic shells. SMS waves go into the aperiodic instability regime (the regime of the "ballooning" instability), on magnetic shells crossing the current sheet. In the WKB approximation, both the Alfvén and SMS oscillations go into an unstable regime with a non-zero real part of their eigen-frequency, on magnetic shells crossing the current sheet. The structure of azimuthally small-scale Alfvén waves across magnetic shells is determined.

  18. The current-voltage relationship in auroral current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weimer, D. R.; Gurnett, D. A.; Goertz, C. K.; Menietti, J. D.; Burch, J. L.

    1987-01-01

    The current-voltage relation within narrow auroral current sheets is examined through the use of high-resolution data from the high altitude Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite. The north-south perpendicular electric field and the east-west magnetic field are shown for three cases in which there are large amplitude, oppositely directed paired electric fields and narrow current sheets. These data are shown to indicate that there is a linear Ohm's law relationship between the current density and the parallel potential drop within the narrow current sheets. This linear relationship had previously been verified for large-scale auroral formations greater than 20 km wide at the ionosphere. The evidence shown here extends our knowledge down to the scale size of discrete auroral arcs.

  19. Thin current sheet embedded within a thicker plasma sheet: Self-consistent kinetic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Zelenyi, L. M.; Malova, H. V.; Sharma, A. S.

    2000-06-01

    A self-consistent theory of thin current sheets, where the magnetic field line tension is balanced by the ion inertia rather than by the pressure gradient, is presented. Assuming that ions are the main current carriers and their dynamics is quasi-adiabatic, the Maxwell-Vlasov equations are reduced to the nonlocal analogue of the Grad-Shafranov equation using a new set of integrals of motion, namely, the particle energy and the sheet invariant of the quasi-adiabatic motion. It is shown that for a drifting Maxwellian distribution of ions outside the sheet the equilibrium equation can be reduced in the limits of strong and weak anisotropy to universal equations that determine families of equilibria with similar profiles of the magnetic field. In the region Bn/B0sheet and close to its central plane, the ion drift velocity outside the sheet, and the ion thermal velocity, respectively) the thickness of such similar profiles is of the order of (vT/vD)1/3ρ0, where ρ0 is the thermal ion gyroradius outside the sheet. In the limit of weak anisotropy (vT/vD>>1) the self-consistent current sheet equilibrium may also exist with no indications of the catastrophe reported earlier by Burkhart et al. [1992a]. On the contrary, it is found that in this limit the magnetic field profiles again become similar to each other with the characteristic thickness ~ρ0. The profiles of plasma and current densities as well as the components of the pressure tensor are calculated for arbitrary ion anisotropy outside the sheet. It is shown that the thin current sheet for the equilibrium considered here is usually embedded into a much thicker plasma sheet. Moreover, in the case of weak anisotropy the perturbation of the plasma density inside the sheet is shown to be proportional to the parameter vD/vT, and as a result the electrostatic effects should be small, consistent with observations. This model of the thin current sheet

  20. Formation of current sheets in magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Boozer, Allen H.

    2014-07-15

    An ideal evolution of magnetic fields in three spatial dimensions tends to cause neighboring field lines to increase their separation exponentially with distance ℓ along the lines, δ(ℓ)=δ(0)e{sup σ(ℓ)}. The non-ideal effects required to break magnetic field line connections scale as e{sup −σ}, so the breaking of connections is inevitable for σ sufficiently large—even though the current density need nowhere be large. When the changes in field line connections occur rapidly compared to an Alfvén transit time, the constancy of j{sub ||}/B along the magnetic field required for a force-free equilibrium is broken in the region where the change occurs, and an Alfvénic relaxation of j{sub ||}/B occurs. Independent of the original spatial distribution of j{sub ||}/B, the evolution is into a sheet current, which is stretched by a factor e{sup σ} in width and contracted by a factor e{sup σ} in thickness with the current density j{sub ||} increasing as e{sup σ}. The dissipation of these sheet currents and their associated vorticity sheets appears to be the mechanism for transferring energy from a reconnecting magnetic field to a plasma. Harris sheets, which are used in models of magnetic reconnection, are shown to break up in the direction of current flow when they have a finite width and are in a plasma in force equilibrium. The dependence of the longterm nature of magnetic reconnection in systems driven by footpoint motion can be studied in a model that allows qualitative variation in the nature of that motion: slow or fast motion compared to the Alfvén transit time and the neighboring footpoints either exponentially separating in time or not.

  1. Experimental study of the dynamics of a thin current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, W.; DeHaas, T.; Van Compernolle, B.; Daughton, W.; Pribyl, P.; Vincena, S.; Hong, D.

    2016-05-01

    Many plasmas in natural settings or in laboratory experiments carry currents. In magnetized plasmas the currents can be narrow field-aligned filaments as small as the electron inertial length ≤ft(\\tfrac{c}{{ω }pe}\\right) in the transverse dimension or fill the entire plasma column. Currents can take the form of sheets, again with the transverse dimension the narrow one. Are laminar sheets of electric current in a magnetized plasma stable? This became an important issue in the 1960s when current-carrying plasmas became key in the quest for thermonuclear fusion. The subject is still under study today. The conditions necessary for the onset for tearing are known, the key issue is that of the final state. Is there a final state? One possibility is a collection of stable tubes of current. On the other hand, is the interaction between the current filaments which are the byproduct endless, or does it go on to become chaotic? The subject of three-dimensional current systems is intriguing, rich in a variety of phenomena on multiple scale sizes and frequencies, and relevant to fusion studies, solar physics, space plasmas and astrophysical phenomena. In this study a long (δz = 11 m) and narrow (δx = 1 cm, δy = 20 cm) current sheet is generated in a background magnetoplasma capable of supporting Alfvén waves. The current is observed to rapidly tear into a series of magnetic islands when viewed in a cross-sectional plane, but they are in essence three-dimensional flux ropes. At the onset of the current, magnetic field line reconnection is observed between the flux ropes. The sheet on the whole is kink-unstable, and after kinking exhibits large-scale, low-frequency (f ≪ f ci ) rotation about the background field with an amplitude that grows with distance from the source of the current. Three-dimensional data of the magnetic and electric fields is acquired throughout the duration of the experiment and the parallel resistivity is derived from it. The parallel

  2. Energization of Ions in near-Earth current sheet disruptions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taktakishvili, A.; Lopez, R. E.; Goodrich, C. C.

    1995-01-01

    In this study we examine observations made by AMPTE/CCE of energetic ion bursts during seven substorm periods when the satellite was located near the neutral sheet, and CCE observed the disruption cross-tail current in situ. We compare ion observations to analytic calculations of particle acceleration. We find that the acceleration region size, which we assume to be essentially the current disruption region, to be on the order of 1 R(sub E). Events exhibiting weak acceleration had either relatively small acceleration regions (apparently associated with pseudobreakup activity on the ground) or relatively small changes in the local magnetic field (suggesting that the magnitude of the local current disruption region was limited). These results add additional support for the view that the particle bursts observed during turbulent current sheet disruptions are due to inductive acceleration of ions.

  3. Coronal Current Sheet Evolution in the Aftermath of a CME

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bemporad, A.; Poletto, G.; Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; Schwadron, N. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Raymond, J. C.

    2005-01-01

    We report on SOHO-UVCS observations of coronal restructuring following a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on November 26, 2002, at the time of a SOHO-Ulysses quadrature campaign. Starting about 3 hours after the CME, which was directed towards Ulysses, UVCS began taking spectra at 1.7 solar radii, covering emission from both cool and hot plasma. Observations continued, with occasional gaps, for more than 2 days. Emission in the 974.8 Angstrom line of [Fe XVIII], indicating temperatures above 6x10(6) K, was observed throughout the campaign in a spatially limited location. Comparison with EIT images shows the [Fe XVIII] emission to overlie a growing post-flare loop system formed in the aftermath of the CME. The emission most likely originates in a current sheet overlying the arcade. Analysis of the [Fe XVIII] emission allows us to infer the evolution of physical parameters in the current sheet over the entire span of our observations: in particular, we give the temperature vs. time in the current sheet and estimate the density. Ulysses was directly above the location of the CME and intercepted the ejecta. High ionization state Fe was detected by SWICS throughout the magnetic cloud associated with the CME, although the rapid temporal variation suggests bursty, rather than smooth, reconnection in the coronal current sheet. Both the remote and in situ observations are compared with predictions of theoretical CME models.

  4. Electric fields and current sheet structure in magnetospheric plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cully, C. M.

    The electric currents of the central plasma sheet play a pivotal role in the dynamics of the Earth's magnetosphere. I describe new instrumentation developed for measuring its properties, and analyze data from existing instruments. The analysis shows the structure and physical current-carrying mechanisms of the quiescent central plasma sheet in new detail. Electric field observations are critical for this work. I discuss two aspects of space-based double-probe electric field experiments: the probe design and the signal processing. I develop a numerical model that self-consistently solves for the interaction between the probes and the nearby plasma environment, including the effects of the spacecraft and its attendant photoelectrons. I also describe the signal processing hardware developed for the 5-satellite THEMIS mission, known as the Digital Fields Boards (DFB). THEMIS was launched in February 2007, and all 5 DFBs are working as intended. Since THEMIS is only recently launched, I analyze data from the 4-satellite Cluster mission, which has similar instrumentation. With Cluster data, the position of the current sheet relative to the satellite can be determined, allowing direct comparisons between observations and models. To encompass the wide variety of possible current-carrying mechanisms, I develop a kinetic model based on the quasi-isotropic formalism of Schindler and Birn [2002]. The model fits many of the observed sheets well. The observations reveal a wide variety of current-carrying mechanisms. Some of the thinnest currents consist entirely of a pair of electron Hall currents which together form a bifurcated current sheet driven by strong inward-pointing electric fields.

  5. What causes the warp in the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, J. M.; Scherrer, P. H.

    1981-01-01

    A comparative discussion of the warp in the heliospheric current sheet is presented. Pioneer 10 and 11 data of the interplanetary magnetic field compared with earlier data (Helios 1 and 2) show a good agreement on the phenomenon of the warp; however, the interpretations differ. One theory (Thomas and Smith, 1980) proposes that fast solar wind streams associated with interaction regions may move the current sheet higher to heliospheric latitudes, thus causing the warp; while the earlier theory (1976) adequately explained the phenomenon by using the observed photospheric magnetic field and the Zeeman effect but omitted the solar wind dynamical considerations as part of the computations. It is shown that the Helios data of the polarity of the interplanetary magnetic field are in good agreement with the computed location of the current sheet, confirming the earlier theory.

  6. Magnetorotational instability, current relaxation, and current-vortex sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Silveira, F. E. M.; Galvão, R. M. O.

    2013-08-15

    The conjugate effect of current relaxation and of current-vortex sheet formation on the magnetorotational instability is explored in a conducting fluid. It is found that the relative amplification of the magnetic viscosity from marginal stability to the instability determined by the maximum growth rate is around 924% when resistive effects dominate, while the corresponding quantity is around 220% in the ideal limit. This shows that the conjugate influence is much more efficient to amplify the magnetic viscosity than just the effect due to the standard magnetic tension. It is also found that the magnitude of the magnetic viscosity is effectively enhanced by the conjugate influence. The results presented here may contribute to the understanding of the various processes that play a significant role in the mechanism of anomalous viscosity observed in Keplerian disks. It is argued that the new effect shall be relevant in thin accretion disks. It is also mentioned that the proposed formulation may be of interest for some theories of magnetic reconnection. Possible extensions of this work are suggested.

  7. Current Sheet Evolution In The Aftermath Of A CME Event

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bemporad, A.; Poletto, G.; Seuss, S. T.; Schwardron, N. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Raymond, J. C.

    2006-01-01

    We report on SOHO UVCS observations of the coronal restructuring following a coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2002 November 26, at the time of a SOHO-Ulysses quadrature campaign. Starting about 1.5 hr after a CME in the northwest quadrant, UVCS began taking spectra at 1.7 R, covering emission from both cool and hot plasma. Observations continued, with occasional gaps, for more than 2 days. Emission in the 974.8 A line of [Fe XVIII], indicating temperatures above 6 x 10(exp 6) K, was observed throughout the campaign in a spatially limited location. Comparison with EIT images shows the [Fe XVIII] emission to overlie a growing post-flare loop system formed in the aftermath of the CME. The emission most likely originates in a current sheet overlying the arcade. Analysis of the [Fe XVIII] emission allows us to infer the evolution of physical parameters in the current sheet over the entire span of our observations: in particular, we give the temperature versus time in the current sheet and estimate its density. At the time of the quadrature, Ulysses was directly above the location of the CME and intercepted the ejecta. High ionization state Fe was detected by the Ulysses SWICS throughout the magnetic cloud associated with the CME, although its rapid temporal variation suggests bursty, rather than smooth, reconnection in the coronal current sheet. The SOHO-Ulysses data set provided us with the unique opportunity of analyzing a current sheet structure from its lowest coronal levels out to its in situ properties. Both the remote and in situ observations are compared with predictions of theoretical CME models.

  8. Current Sheet Formation and Reconnection Dynamics in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edmondson, Justin K.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2009-05-01

    Current sheet formation is a necessary consequence of the evolution of the multi-polar magnetic field topologies that are ubiquitous throughout the solar corona. We present a very high-resolution study of 3D MHD current sheet formation and the resulting reconnection dynamics in an environment appropriate for the corona. The initial field consists of a translationally invariant, potential field with a null-point topology (i.e., 4-flux systems) and a low-beta plasma. A finite-extent, 3D Syrovatskii-type current sheet forms as a result of stressing of this system by a uniform, incompressible flow applied at the line-tied photospheric boundary. The system is assumed to be ideal, except for the presence of numerical resistivity. The fully 3-D evolution is calculated with very high resolution (9x and 10x refinement across the full extent of the current sheet) using the Adaptively Refined MHD Solver (ARMS). The initial evolution of this computationally-intensive simulation results in a current sheet with a nearly 30-to-1 aspect ratio, a significant fraction of the system characteristic length, that unexpectedly appears to be stable. In addition, up to this point in the evolution any magnetic reconnection that we observe is of the slow Sweet-Parker type. We expect, however, that as we continue stressing the field, the current sheet will become unstable and develop explosive dynamics. We discuss the implications of our results on coronal structure and activity, such as heating and eruptions. This work has been supported, in part, by the NASA HTP and SR&T programs.

  9. Structure of current sheets in magnetic holes at 1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzenreiter, R. J.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1978-01-01

    Current density profiles in several types of interplanetary magnetic holes have been calculated using high-resolution Imp 6 magnetic field data (12.5 vector measurements/s), assuming that the currents flow in planar sheets and that the magnetic field varies only in the direction normal to the sheet. The planarity was verified in four holes which were observed by two suitably spaced spacecraft. Four types of simple magnetic holes are discussed, in which B varies nearly monotonically on each side of the hole. In two of the holes, B varies in intensity but not in direction as a result of currents normal to B. In the other two holes, B changes in both magnitude and direction as a result of currents both normal and parallel to B. The observed structures are found to be qualitatively consistent with the models of Burlaga and Lemaire (1978). Examples of complex irregular magnetic holes are also presented, and they are shown to contain multiple current sheets in which currents flow parallel to one another at various angles with respect to B. There is no model of such magnetic holes at present.

  10. A RECONNECTING CURRENT SHEET IMAGED IN A SOLAR FLARE

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Rui; Liu Chang; Wang Haimin; Lee, Jeongwoo; Wang, Tongjiang; Stenborg, Guillermo

    2010-11-01

    Magnetic reconnection changes the magnetic field topology and powers explosive events in astrophysical, space, and laboratory plasmas. For flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in the solar atmosphere, the standard model predicts the presence of a reconnecting current sheet, which has been the subject of considerable theoretical and numerical modeling over the last 50 years, yet direct, unambiguous observational verification has been absent. In this Letter, we show a bright sheet structure of global length (>0.25 R {sub sun}) and macroscopic width ((5-10)x10{sup 3} km) distinctly above the cusp-shaped flaring loop, imaged during the flare rising phase in EUV. The sheet formed due to the stretch of a transequatorial loop system and was accompanied by various reconnection signatures. This unique event provides a comprehensive view of the reconnection geometry and dynamics in the solar corona.

  11. Current Sheet Evolution in the Aftermath of a CME Event

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bemporad, A.; Poletto, G.; Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; Schwadron, N. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Raymond, J. C.

    2005-01-01

    We report on SOHO-UVCS observations of the coronal restructuring following a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) on November 26,2002, at the time of a SOHO-Ulysses quadrature campaign. Starting about 3 hours after a CME in the NW quadrant, UVCS began taking spectra at 1.7 solar radius, covering emission from both cool and hot plasma. Observations continued, with occasional gaps, for more than 2 days. Emission in the 974.8 Angstrom line of [Fe XVIII], indicating temperatures above 6 x 10(exp 6) K, was observed throughout the campaign in a spatially limited location. Comparison with EIT images shows the Fe XVIII emission to overlie a growing post-flare loop system formed in the aftermath of the CME. The emission most likely originates in a current sheet overlying the arcade. Analysis of the [Fe XVIII] emission allows us to infer the evolution of physical parameters in the current sheet over the entire span of our observations: in particular, we give the temperature vs. time in the current sheet and estimate the density. At the time of the quadrature, Ulysses was directly above the location of the CME and intercepted the ejecta. High ionization state Fe was detected by Ulysses-SWICS throughout the magnetic cloud associated with the CME. Both the remote and in situ observations are compared with predictions of theoretical CME models.

  12. Kinetic Simulations of Thinnest Current Sheets as detected by Cluster.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.; Deverapllai, C.

    Recently reported observations from Cluster in the magneto-tail show existence of extremely thin current sheets ETCSs They have thickness of just a few electron skin depth L e in contrast to the previously reported thin current sheets TCSs having thickness of ion skin depth L i This suggests that the reconnecting current sheets evolve over scale size ranging from much larger than L i to ones to the limiting smallest width sim L e The phase of the current sheet CS evolution when the magnetic reconnection occurs in such a CS has remained a nagging challenge We report here three-dimensional kinetic simulations of ETCSs using a particle-in-cell code with electron to ion mass ratio M m 1836 Our simulation results show the following important features of an evolving CS i Thinning process of a non-equilibrium CS when started with a CS of scale size several L e ii The thinning occurs via counter propagating magneto-sonic waves iii Setting of convergent electric fields pointing toward the CS center during the course of the thinning iv Direct acceleration of un-magnetized ions by the electric fields toward the CS center setting counter-streaming in ion flow v E times B drift of the electrons which completely support the current in the CS vi Current-sheet-driven electrostatic instabilities CSDEI mostly confined within the CS vii Electron drift and developing shear in the drift provide free energy for the CSDEI viii Electron heating transverse to the anti-parallel magnetic field generating

  13. Trigger of Fast Reconnection via Collapsing Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, A.; Velli, M.; Rappazzo, A. F.; Pucci, F.

    2015-12-01

    It has been widely believed that reconnection is the underlying mechanism of many explosive processes observed both in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas. However, both the questions of how magnetic reconnection is triggered in high Lundquist (S) and Reynolds (R) number plasmas, and how it can then occur on fast, ideal, time-scales remain open. Indeed, it has been argued that fast reconnection rates could be achieved once kinetic scales are reached, or, alternatively, by the onset of the so-called plasmoid instability within Sweet-Parker current sheets. However, it has been shown recently that a tearing mode instability (the "ideal tearing") can grow on an ideal, i.e., S-independent, timescale once the width a of a current sheet becomes thin enough with respect to its macroscopic length L, a/L ~ S-1/3. This suggests that current sheet thinning down to such a threshold aspect ratio —much larger, for S>>1, than the Sweet-Parker one that scales as a/L ~ S-1/2— might provide the trigger for fast reconnection even within the fluid plasma framework. Here we discuss the transition to fast reconnection by studying with visco-resistive MHD simulations the onset and evolution of the tearing instability within a single collapsing current sheet. We indeed show that the transition to a fast tearing mode instability takes place when an inverse aspect ratio of the order of the threshold a/L ~ S-1/3 is reached, and that the secondary current sheets forming nonlinearly become the source of a succession of recursive tearing instabilities. The latter is reminiscent of the fractal reconnection model of flares, which we modify in the light of the "ideal tearing" scenario.

  14. Radiation-Dominated Relativistic Current Sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Jaroschek, C. H.; Hoshino, M.

    2009-08-14

    Relativistic current sheets (RCSs) feature plasma instabilities considered as the potential key to magnetic energy dissipation in Poynting-flux-dominated plasma flows. Kinetic plasma simulations show that the physical nature of RCS evolution changes in the presence of radiation losses: In the ultrarelativistic regime (i.e., magnetization parameter sigma=10{sup 4} defined as the ratio of magnetic to plasma rest frame energy density), the combined effect of nonlinear RCS dynamics and synchrotron emission introduces a temperature anisotropy triggering the growth of the relativistic tearing mode. In contrast to previous studies of the RCS with sigmaapprox1, the relativistic tearing mode then prevails over the drift kink mode. The ultrarelativistic RCS shows a typical life cycle from radiation-induced collapse towards a radiation-quiescent phase with topology analogous to that introduced by Sweet and Parker.

  15. Plasmoid instability in double current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Nemati, M. J.; Wang, Z. X. Wei, L.; Selim, B. I.

    2015-01-15

    The linear behavior of plasmoid instability in double current sheet configurations, namely, double plasmoid mode (DPM), is analytically and numerically investigated within the framework of a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model. Analytical analysis shows that if the separation of double current sheets is sufficiently small [κx{sub s}≪κ{sup 2/9}S{sub L}{sup 1/3}], the growth rate of DPMs scales as κ{sup 2/3}S{sub L}{sup 0} in the non-constant-ψ regime, where κ=kL{sub CS}/2 is the wave vector measured by the half length of the system L{sub CS}/2, 2x{sub s} is the separation between two resonant surfaces, and S{sub L}=L{sub CS}V{sub A}/2η is Lundquist number with V{sub A} and η being Alfven velocity and resistivity, respectively. If the separation is very large [κx{sub s}≫κ{sup 2/9}S{sub L}{sup 1/3}], the growth rate scales as κ{sup −2/5}S{sub L}{sup 2/5} in the constant-ψ regime. Furthermore, it is also analytically found that the maximum wave number scales as x{sub s}{sup −9/7}S{sub L}{sup 3/7} at the transition position between these two regimes, and the corresponding maximum growth rate scales as x{sub s}{sup −6/7}S{sub L}{sup 2/7} there. The analytically predicted scalings are verified in some limits through direct numerical calculations.

  16. Configuration of Jupiter's magnetic tail and equatorial current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ness, N. F.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1981-01-01

    Recent research reports by Behannon et al. (1981) and Connerney et al. (1981) are summarized. It is noted that the analysis made of the detailed neutral sheet crossings by the minimum variance method shows a consistent result with regard to the orientation of the neutral sheet in the magnetic tail as a two-dimensional surface rocking back and forth about the Jupiter sun-line as the rotation of the planet leads to a precession of the tilted dipole magnetic axis. The occurrence of neutral sheet crossings is found not to be consistent with any of the axially symmetric theoretical models proposed earlier on the basis of the 1974 Pioneer 10 observations. It is noted that a simple nonaxially symmetric model has been developed on the basis of the Voyager results which indicates the strong control upon orientation by the interaction of the solar wind with the Jovian magnetosphere. The model is described as simple because it improves the fit of theory to observation but uses fewer parameters. A quantitative model of the magnetodisc equatorial current sheet has been developed for the inner magnetosphere region which matches well the in-situ magnetic field observations.

  17. Current Sheets in the Heliosheath: Voyager 1, 2009

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlaga, L. F.; Ness, N. F.

    2011-01-01

    We identified all of the current sheets for which we have relatively complete and accurate magnetic field (B) data from Voyager 1 (V1) from days of year (DOYs) 1 to 331, 2009, which were obtained deep in the heliosheath between 108.5 and 111.8 AU. Three types of current sheets were found: (1) 15 proton boundary layers (PBLs), (2) 10 and 3 magnetic holes and magnetic humps, respectively, and (3) 3 sector boundaries. The magnetic field strength changes across PBL, and the profile B(t) is linearly related to the hyperbolic tangent function, but the direction of B does not change. For each of the three sector boundaries, B rotated in a plane normal to the minimum variance direction, and the component of B along the minimum variance direction was zero within the uncertainties, indicating that the sector boundaries were tangential discontinuities. The structure of the sector boundaries was not as simple as that for PBLs. The average thickness of magnetic holes and humps (approx.30 RL) was twice that of the PBLs (approx.15 RL). The average thickness of the current sheets associated with sector boundaries was close to the thickness of the PBLs. Our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that magnetic holes and humps are solitons, which are initiated by the mirror mode instability, and evolve by nonlinear kinetic plasma processes to pressure balanced structures maintained by magnetization currents and proton drift currents in the gradients of B.

  18. Morphology and Density Structure of Post-CME Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrsnak, B.; Poletto, G.; Vujic, E.; Vourlidas, A.

    2009-01-01

    Eruption of a coronal mass ejection (CME) is believed to drag and open the coronal magnetic field, presumably leading to the formation of a large-scale current sheet and field relaxation by magnetic reconnection. This paper analyzes the physical characteristics of ray-like coronal features formed in the aftermath of CMEs, to confirm whether interpreting such phenomena in terms of a reconnecting current sheet is consistent with observations. Methods: The study focuses on UVCS/SOHO and LASCO/SOHO measurements of the ray width, density excess, and coronal velocity field as a function of the radial distance. The morphology of the rays implies that they are produced by Petschek-like reconnection in the large-scale current sheet formed in the wake of CME. The hypothesis is supported by the flow pattern, often showing outflows along the ray, and sometimes also inflows into the ray. The inferred inflow velocities range from 3 to 30 km/s, and are consistent with the narrow opening-angle of rays, which add up to a few degrees. The density of rays is an order of magnitude higher than in the ambient corona. The model results are consistent with the observations, revealing that the main cause of the density excess in rays is a transport of the dense plasma from lower to higher heights by the reconnection outflow.

  19. Pulsar Wind Nebulae as Cosmic Pevatrons: A Current Sheet's Tale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arons, Jonathan

    2012-11-01

    I outline, from a theoretical and somewhat personal perspective, significant features of Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe) as Cosmic Accelerators. I pay special attention to the recently discovered gamma ray "flares" in the Crab Nebula's emission, focusing on the possibility, raised by the observations, that the accelerating electric field exceeds the magnetic field, suggesting that reconnection in the persistent current layer (a "current sheet") plays a significant role in the behavior of this well studied Pevatron. I address the present status of the termination shock model for the particle accelerator that converts the wind flow energy to the observed non-thermal particle spectra, concluding that it has a number of major difficulties related to the transverse magnetic geometry of the shock wave. I discuss recent work on the inferred pair outflow rates, which are in excess of those predicted by existing theories of pair creation, and use those results to point out that the consequent mass loading of the wind reduces the wind's bulk flow 4-velocity to the point that dissipation of the magnetic field in a pulsar's wind upstream of the termination shock is restored to life as a viable model for the solution of the " σ" problem. I discuss some suggestions that current starvation in the current flow supporting the structured ("striped") upstream magnetic field perhaps induces a transition to superluminal wave propagation. I show that current starvation probably does not occur, because those currents are carried in the current sheet separating the stripes rather than in the stripes themselves.

  20. Cluster Observations of Neutral Sheet Oscillations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volwerk, M.; Baumjohann, W.; Nakamura, R.; Zhang, T. L.; Eichelberger, H.-U.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Balogh, A.

    In the period of early July through the end of October 2001, the Cluster spacecraft had their apogee in the Earth's magnetotail at approximately 19 R_{rm E}. This allowed us to study substorm related phenomena in the neutral sheet. We investigated the FGM data for neutral sheet crossings during strong activity (AE), and in particular looked at ULF waves. For this presentation we will first look at three days: July 17, August 22 and September 15, 2001. Spectral analysis shows that the main power is in compressional waves, similar to the results of {em Bauer et al.} [JGR 100, 23737, 1995] with a significant peak at 30 - 60 mHz. Having four spacecraft, we can de- termine the propagation direction and velocity of the waves, using cross correlation of the bandpass filtered data to get the time lag between the spacecraft and the rela- tive location of the spacecraft. As expected, we find that the waves propagate mainly perpendicular to the magnetic field, either earthward or tailward. The velocity of the waves varies from 60 - 250 km s^{-1}. The propagation direction of the waves may be dependent on the local plasma flow direction or amplitude. Not every neutral sheet crossing shows evidence of these ULF waves near 30 - 60 mHz. There are several days in which the spectral power falls off much more quickly than in the days men- tioned before. Examples are: August 12 and 29 and September 24, 2001. The main spectral power for these days is at frequencies of 60 - 200 mHz. An indication for the difference between these two sets of observations can be found in the AE index. The days with strong ULF wave power at 30 - 60 mHz are during neutral sheet crossings at the onset or expansion phase of a substorm, whereas the days without these waves are crossings that occur during substorm recovery phase, or during quiescent times.

  1. Chaotic Scattering In Magnetic Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R.; Holland, D.; Matsuoka, H.; Rappa, R.

    We revisit the subject of nonlinear charged particle dynamics and chaos in current sheet magnetic fields using the modified Harris magnetic field. While much has been written on this subject in the last decade we feel there are some as-yet-unanswered fundamental questions as well as some "folklore" which is in need of clarification. We begin by demonstrating that the general behavior of the average exponential di- vergence rate (AEDR) of individual orbits is strongly correlated with the phase space partitions, i.e. the AEDR for integrable orbits goes to zero for long times, the AEDR of stochastic orbits approaches an asymptotic value for long times, and the AEDR of transient orbits (and short lived stochastic orbits) is not well defined. Furthermore, we show that the Lyapunov exponent for a distribution of particles only has well de- fined values at the resonant energy surfaces defined by Burkhart and Chen. Next it is shown that the "chaos" of the system is maximum at = 1 only in the sense that a lot of particles enter the stochastic region of phase space for this energy. The average Lyapunov exponent at = 1 actually approaches zero, and for those energies where the Lyapunov exponent is defined, it increases as the ratio of normal component of the field to the asymptotic field strength increases. Finally, we present particle escape rate and fractal invariant set results corroborating these conclusions and consider the consequences for anomalous transport in these fields.

  2. THEMIS two-point measurements of the cross-tail current density: A thick bifurcated current sheet in the near-Earth plasma sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Miho

    2015-08-01

    The basic properties of the near-Earth current sheet from 8 RE to 12 RE were determined based on Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) observations from 2007 to 2013. Ampere's law was used to estimate the current density when the locations of two spacecraft were suitable for the calculation. A total of 3838 current density observations were obtained to study the vertical profile. For typical solar wind conditions, the current density near (off) the central plane of the current sheet ranged from 1 to 2 nA/m2 (1 to 8 nA/m2). All the high current densities appeared off the central plane of the current sheet, indicating the formation of a bifurcated current sheet structure when the current density increased above 2 nA/m2. The median profile also showed a bifurcated structure, in which the half thickness was about 3 RE. The distance between the peak of the current density and the central plane of the current sheet was 0.5 to 1 RE. High current densities above 4 nA/m2 were observed in some cases that occurred preferentially during substorms, but they also occurred in quiet times. In contrast to the commonly accepted picture, these high current densities can form without a high solar wind dynamic pressure. In addition, these high current densities can appear in two magnetic configurations: tail-like and dipolar structures. At least two mechanisms, magnetic flux depletion and new current system formation during the expansion phase, other than plasma sheet compression are responsible for the formation of the bifurcated current sheets.

  3. Current sheet thinning, reconnection onset, and auroral morphology during geomagnetic substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, A.; Hsieh, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Geomagnetic substorms represent a fundamental energy release mechanism for the terrestrial magnetosphere. Specifically, the evolution of thin currents sheets during the substorm growth phase plays a key role for substorms because such current sheets present a much lower threshold for the onset of tearing modes and magnetic reconnection than the usually thick magnetotail current sheet. Here we examine and compare two basic processes for current sheet thinning in the Earth's magnetotail: Current sheet thinning (1) through closed magnetic flux depletion (MFD) in the near Earth magnetotail caused by divergent flux transport to replace closed flux on the dayside and (2) through accumulation of open flux magnetic flux in the tail lobes also caused by dayside reconnection. Both processes are expected to operate during any period of enhanced dayside reconnection. It is demonstrated that closed magnetic flux depletion (MFD) in the near Earth magnetotail and the increase of open lobe magnetic flux can lead to the evolution of two separate thin current sheets in the near Earth and the mid tail regions of the magnetosphere. While the auroral morphology associated with MFD and near Earth current sheet formation is well consistent with typical substorm growth observation, midtail current sheet formation through lobe flux increase shows only a minor influence on the auroral ionosphere. We discuss the physics of the dual current sheet formation and local and auroral properties of magnetic reconnection in either current sheet. It is suggested that only reconnection onset in the near Earth current sheet may be consistent with substorm expansion because the flux tube entropy depletion of mid tail reconnection appears insufficient to cause geosynchronous particle injection and dipolarization. Therefore reconnection in the mid tail current sheet is more likely associated with bursty bulk flows or dipolarization fronts which stop short of geosynchronous distances.

  4. Heliospheric current sheet and its interaction with solar cosmic rays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malova, Helmi; Popov, Victor; Grigorenko, Elena; Dunko, Andrey; Petrukovich, Anatoly

    2016-04-01

    We investigated effects resulting from the interaction of solar cosmic rays (SCR) with the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) in the solar wind. Self-consistent kinetic model of the HCS is developed, where ions demonstrate quasi-adiabatic dynamics. HCS is considered as the equilibrium embedded current structure, where the two main kinds of plasma with different temperatures give the main contribution to the current (low-energy background plasma and SCR). It is shown that HCS is a relatively thin multiscale configuration of the current sheet, embedded in a thicker plasma layer. The taking into account of SCR particles in HCS could lead to a change of its structure and to enhancement of its properties such as the embedding and multi-scaling. Parametric family of solutions is considered where the current balance in HCS is provided at different temperatures of SCR and different concentrations of high-energy plasma. Concentrations of SCR are determined which may contribute to the thickening of the HCS that can be observed in satellite studies. The possibility to apply this modeling for the explanation of experimental observations is considered.

  5. Particle dynamics and resistivity characteristics in bifurcated current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andriyas, Tushar

    Charged particle chaos and its collective effects in different magnetic geometries are investigated in a sequence of various numerical experiments. The fields generated by the particles as a result of interaction with the background electric and magnetic fields is not accounted for in the simulation. An X-line is first used to describe the geometry of the magnetotail prior to magnetic reconnection and a study of the behavior of charged particles is done from a microscopic viewpoint. Another important geometry in the magnetotail prior to substorm onset is Bifurcated Current Sheet. The same analysis is done for this configuration. The existence of at least one positive Lyapunov exponent shows that the motion of the particles is chaotic. By using statistical mechanics, the macroscopic properties of this chaotic motion are studied. Due to particles being charged, an electric field (perpendicular to the magnetic field in weak magnetic field region) accelerates the particles on average. Finite average velocity in the direction of electric field gives rise to an effective resistivity even in a collisionless regime such as solar corona and the magnetotail. Starting from initial velocities that are chosen randomly from a uniform distribution, the evolution of these distributions tends to a Maxwellian by the end of the simulation that is somewhat analogous to collisions in a Lorentz gas model. The effective resistivity due to such collisions is estimated. Ohmic heating is found to occur as a result of such an effective resistivity. Such collisions due to collective particle effects are essentially a different mechanism from classical collision notion. These experiments are done for two types of ions found in the plasma sheet prior to substorm onset, viz., protons and oxygen ions. Observational evidence of oxygen ions in the central plasma sheet, which flow out along open field lines from the ionosphere, were also simulated in the same manner. Oxygen ions have been found to

  6. Current status of liquid sheet radiator research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chubb, Donald L.; Calfo, Frederick D.; Mcmaster, Matthew S.

    1993-01-01

    Initial research on the external flow, low mass liquid sheet radiator (LSR), has been concentrated on understanding its fluid mechanics. The surface tension forces acting at the edges of the sheet produce a triangular planform for the radiating surface of width, W, and length, L. It has been experimentally verified that (exp L)/W agrees with the theoretical result, L/W = (We/8)exp 1/2, where We is the Weber number. Instability can cause holes to form in regions of large curvature such as where the edge cylinders join the sheet of thickness, tau. The W/tau limit that will cause hole formation with subsequent destruction of the sheet has yet to be reached experimentally. Although experimental measurements of sheet emissivity have not yet been performed because of limited program scope, calculations of the emissivity and sheet lifetime is determined by evaporation losses were made for two silicon based oils; Dow Corning 705 and Me(sub 2). Emissivities greater than 0.75 are calculated for tau greater than or equal to 200 microns for both oils. Lifetimes for Me(sub 2) are much longer than lifetimes for 705. Therefore, Me(sub 2) is the more attractive working fluid for higher temperatures (T greater than or equal to 400 K).

  7. The current-voltage relationship in auroral current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Weimer, D.R. ); Gurnett, D.A.; Goertz, C.K. ); Menietti, J.D.; Burch, J.L. ); Sugiura, M. )

    1987-01-01

    The current-voltage relation within narrow auroral current sheets is examined through the use of high-resolution data from the high-altitude Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite. The north-south perpendicular electric field and the east-west magnetic field are shown for three cases in which there are large amplitude, oppositely directed paired electric fields which are confined to a region less than 20 km wide. The magnetic field variations are found to be proportional to the second integral of the high-altitude perpendicular electric field. It is shown that at the small-scale limit, this relationship between {Delta}B and E is consistent with a linear Ohm's law relationship between the current density and the parallel potential drop along the magnetic field line. This linear relationship had previously been verified for large-scale auroral formations greater than 20 km wide at the ionosphere. The evidence shown here extends the knowledge down to the scale size of discrete auroral arcs.

  8. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Tearing Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzdensky, D. A.; Loureiro, N. F.

    2016-03-01

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets cannot occur in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is being formed. Such an analysis is performed here in the context of nonlinear resistive magnetohydrodynamics for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that two onset regimes, single-island and multi-island, are possible, depending on the rate of current sheet formation. A simple model is used to compute the criterion for transition between these two regimes, as well as the reconnection onset time and the current sheet parameters at that moment. For typical solar corona parameters, this model yields results consistent with observations.

  9. Current sheets with inhomogeneous plasma temperature: Effects of polarization electric field and 2D solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Catapano, F. Zimbardo, G.; Artemyev, A. V. Vasko, I. Y.

    2015-09-15

    We develop current sheet models which allow to regulate the level of plasma temperature and density inhomogeneities across the sheet. These models generalize the classical Harris model via including two current-carrying plasma populations with different temperature and the background plasma not contributing to the current density. The parameters of these plasma populations allow regulating contributions of plasma density and temperature to the pressure balance. A brief comparison with spacecraft observations demonstrates the model applicability for describing the Earth magnetotail current sheet. We also develop a two dimensional (2D) generalization of the proposed model. The interesting effect found for 2D models is the nonmonotonous profile (along the current sheet) of the magnetic field component perpendicular to the current sheet. Possible applications of the model are discussed.

  10. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Tearing Instability.

    PubMed

    Uzdensky, D A; Loureiro, N F

    2016-03-11

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets cannot occur in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is being formed. Such an analysis is performed here in the context of nonlinear resistive magnetohydrodynamics for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that two onset regimes, single-island and multi-island, are possible, depending on the rate of current sheet formation. A simple model is used to compute the criterion for transition between these two regimes, as well as the reconnection onset time and the current sheet parameters at that moment. For typical solar corona parameters, this model yields results consistent with observations. PMID:27015487

  11. A new stationary analytical model of the heliospheric current sheet and the plasma sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kislov, Roman A.; Khabarova, Olga V.; Malova, Helmi V.

    2015-10-01

    We develop a single-fluid 2-D analytical model of the axially symmetric thin heliospheric current sheet (HCS) embedded into the heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS). A HCS-HPS system has a shape of a relatively thin plasma disk limited by separatrices that also represent current sheets, which is in agreement with Ulysses observations in the aphelion, when it crossed the HCS perpendicular to its plane. Our model employs a differential rotation of the solar photosphere that leads to unipolar induction in the corona. Three components of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), the solar wind speed, and the thermal pressure are taken into account. Solar corona conditions and a HCS-HPS system state are tied by boundary conditions and the "frozen-in" equation. The model allows finding spatial distributions of the magnetic field, the speed within the HPS, and electric currents within the HCS. An angular plasma speed is low within the HPS due to the angular momentum conservation (there is no significant corotation with the Sun), which is consistent with observations. We found that the HPS thickness L decreases with distance r, becoming a constant far from the Sun (L ~2.5 solar radii (R0) at 1 AU). Above the separatrices and at large heliocentric distances, the solar wind behavior obeys Parker's model, but the magnetic field spiral form may be different from Parker's one inside the HPS. At r ≤ 245 R0, the IMF spiral may undergo a turn simultaneously with a change of the poloidal current direction (from sunward to antisunward).

  12. Near-earth Thin Current Sheets and Birkeland Currents during Substorm Growth Phase

    SciTech Connect

    Sorin Zaharia; C.Z. Cheng

    2003-04-30

    Two important phenomena observed during the magnetospheric substorm growth phase are modeled: the formation of a near-Earth (|X| {approx} 9 R{sub E}) thin cross-tail current sheet, as well as the equatorward shift of the ionospheric Birkeland currents. Our study is performed by solving the 3-D force-balance equation with realistic boundary conditions and pressure distributions. The results show a cross-tail current sheet with large current (J{sub {phi}} {approx} 10 nA/m{sup 2}) and very high plasma {beta} ({beta} {approx} 40) between 7 and 10 R{sub E}. The obtained region-1 and region-2 Birkeland currents, formed on closed field lines due to pressure gradients, move equatorward and become more intense (J{sub {parallel}max} {approx} 3 {micro}A/m{sup 2}) compared to quiet times. Both results are in agreement with substorm growth phase observations. Our results also predict that the cross-tail current sheet maps into the ionosphere in the transition region between the region-1 and region-2 currents.

  13. Dynamic Response of Magnetic Reconnection Due to Current Sheet Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, D. E.; Jahn, J. M.; Burch, J. L.; Hesse, M.; Pollock, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Magnetic reconnection is a process which regulates the interaction between regions of magnetized plasma. While many factors have an impact on the evolution of this process, there still remains a lack of understanding of the key behaviors involved in the triggering of fast reconnection. Despite an abundance of in-situ measurements, indicating the high degree of variability in the thickness, density and composition along the current sheet, no simulation studies exist which account for such current sheet variations. 2D and 3D simulations have a periodic boundary in the dimension along the current sheet and so tend to neglect these variations in the current sheet originating external to the modeled reconnection region. Here we focus on the effects on reconnection due to the variability in the thickness and density of the current sheet. Using 2.5D kinetic simulations of 2-species plasma, we isolate and explore the dynamic effects on reconnection associated with variations in the current sheet originating externally to the reconnection region. While periodic boundary conditions are still used, in the direction along the current sheet, a step-change perturbation in thickness or density of the current sheet is introduced once a stable reconnection rate is reached. The dynamic response of the overall system, after introducing the perturbation, is then evaluated, with a focus on the reconnection rate. When the reconnection rate is slowed significantly over time, loading of the inflow region occurs (a build-up of plasma and magnetic energy/pressure. This state is indicated by an asymptotic behavior in the reconnection rate over time. If a sudden variation in the current sheet is introduced under these conditions, a resultant triggering of fast reconnection may occur, which could lead to an episode of fast reconnection, saw-tooth-crash condition or even act as a trigger for sub-storms.

  14. Prediction of the heliospheric current sheet tilt: 1992-1996

    SciTech Connect

    Suess, S.T. ); McComas, D.J. ); Hoeksema, J.T. )

    1993-02-05

    Heliospheric current sheet tilt evolves systematically over the solar cycle. Here the authors show that this evolution is different than the sunspot cycle and that tilt for the period 1992-1996 can be predicted using persistence. That is, the tilt over the coming cycle will be the same as for the past cycle. The Ulysses spacecraft has passed Jupiter and is moving out of the plane of the ecliptic, so they use the prediction of the changing heliospheric current sheet tilt to predict that Ulysses will pass beyond the envelope, or maximum latitude, of the heliospheric current sheet in November 1993. 10 refs., 6 figs.

  15. Diffusive shock acceleration in the presence of current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kota, J.; Jokipii, J. R.

    1994-01-01

    We study the nature of diffusive shock acceleration in the presence of current sheets which are oriented normal to the shock, so that the drift along the sheets carries particles either away from or toward the shock plane. We consider a system with periodic regions of alternating magnetic field direction. This can be taken to be a very crude representation of the termination of the solar wind, with the equator being one sheet and the pole, with its rapid opposite drift, being another. We find very important effects of the current sheets. For example, particle intensities at the shock will be enhanced near one sheet and depressed at the other. Furthermore, the intensity at high energies (averaged over the shock plane) may in fact be considerably larger than in the standard one-dimensional infinite shock case. Implications of these results for the possible acceleration of cosmic electrons up to high energies at the solar-wind termination shock will briefly be discussed.

  16. A coronal magnetic field model with horizontal volume and sheet currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Xuepu; Hoeksema, J. Todd

    1994-01-01

    When globally mapping the observed photospheric magnetic field into the corona, the interaction of the solar wind and magnetic field has been treated either by imposing source surface boundary conditions that tacitly require volume currents outside the source surface or by limiting the interaction to thin current sheets between oppositely directed field regions. Yet observations and numerical Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) calculations suggest the presence of non-force-free volume currents throughout the corona as well as thin current sheets in the neighborhoods of the interfaces between closed and open field lines or between oppositely directed open field lines surrounding coronal helmet-streamer structures. This work presents a model including both horizontal volume currents and streamer sheet currents. The present model builds on the magnetostatic equilibria developed by Bogdan and Low and the current-sheet modeling technique developed by Schatten. The calculation uses synoptic charts of the line-of-sight component of the photospheric magnetic field measured at the Wilcox Solar Observatory. Comparison of an MHD model with the calculated model results for the case of a dipole field and comparison of eclipse observations with calculations for CR 1647 (near solar minimum) show that this horizontal current-current-sheet model reproduces polar plumes and axes of corona streamers better than the source-surface model and reproduces polar plumes and axes of corona streamers better than the source-surface model and reproduces coro nal helmet structures better than the current-sheet model.

  17. Current Sheet Formation in a Conical Theta Pinch Faraday Accelerator with Radio-frequency Assisted Discharge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polzin, Kurt A.; Hallock, Ashley K.; Choueiri, Edgar Y.

    2008-01-01

    Data from an inductive conical theta pinch accelerator are presented to gain insight into the process of inductive current sheet formation in the presence of a preionized background gas produced by a steady-state RF-discharge. The presence of a preionized plasma has been previously shown to allow for current sheet formation at lower discharge voltages and energies than those found in other pulsed inductive accelerator concepts, leading to greater accelerator efficiencies at lower power levels. Time-resolved magnetic probe measurements are obtained for different background pressures and pulse energies to characterize the effects of these parameters on current sheet formation. Indices are defined that describe time-resolved current sheet characteristics, such as the total current owing in the current sheet, the time-integrated total current ('strength'), and current sheet velocity. It is found that for a given electric field strength, maximums in total current, strength, and velocity occur for one particular background pressure. At other pressures, these current sheet indices are considerably smaller. The trends observed in these indices are explained in terms of the principles behind Townsend breakdown that lead to a dependence on the ratio of the electric field to the background pressure. Time-integrated photographic data are also obtained at the same experimental conditions, and qualitatively they compare quite favorably with the time-resolved magnetic field data.

  18. Earth magnetotail current sheet near and beyond the Lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasko, I.; Petrukovich, A. A.; Artemyev, A.; Nakamura, R.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-12-01

    We analyze the structure of the Earth magnetotail current sheet (CS) in middle, -50 REcurrent sheet thickness L, current density amplitude j0 and velocity vD=j0/e n0 (n0 is the plasma density). We analyze dawn-dusk distributions of the CS parameters: L is about 3000 km at the dusk flank and grows up to 12000 km toward the dawn flank; j0 grows toward the dusk flank by a factor of 2-3; the most intense CSs (with higher vD) are observed near the midnight. We show that ion-scale CSs with the thickness of several ion thermal gyroradii (say less than seven) are observed in middle and distant tail regions in more than 50% of crossings. For observed CSs electrons provide likely the dominant contribution to the current density. We divide the subset into intense and weak CSs (using parameter vD). The weak CSs have thickness of about 20 ion thermal gyroradii and Bz of about 1.5 nT. The intense CSs have thickness of about 3-7 thermal gyroradii and much smaller Bz implying a more stretched field line configuration. For intense CSs velocity vD is larger for larger amplitudes of ion bulk velocity vx that is likely due to larger contribution of Speiser ions. Intense CSs may be responsible for the Bursty Bulk Flow generation in the middle and distant tail regions.

  19. Bifurcated current sheets produced by magnetic reconnection in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosling, J. T.; Szabo, A.

    2008-10-01

    We report observations from the Wind spacecraft of Petschek-like magnetic reconnection exhausts and thin current sheets in the solar wind on 19 and 20 November 2007, encompassing a solar wind disturbance driven by a magnetic cloud and followed by a corotating high-speed stream. We have identified an unusually large number (11) of reconnection exhausts in this 2-day interval using 3-s plasma and magnetic field data. Despite the relatively smooth large-scale field rotation associated with the magnetic cloud, five of the exhausts occurred within the cloud; three of those exhausts were associated with extremely small (<18°) local field shear angles. All 11 exhausts contained double-step magnetic field rotations; such double-step rotations are called bifurcated current sheets since they result from the splitting of reconnecting current sheets as an after-effect of the reconnection process. We have also identified 27 current sheets in this 2-day interval that were too thin to be adequately resolved by the 3-s plasma measurement cadence. All of these thin current sheets were well resolved by the 92 ms magnetic field measurement. At least three, and possibly six, of these relatively thin current sheets had double-step magnetic field rotations, indicating the underlying current sheets had probably been disrupted by magnetic reconnection. Current sheets thinner than ˜3 ion inertial lengths were not present in this data set. The relative lack of such ultrathin current sheets in the solar wind in general suggests that such current sheets usually are quickly disrupted by magnetic reconnection.

  20. Bifurcated Current Sheets Produced by Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gosling, J. T.; Szabo, A.

    2008-12-01

    We report observations from the Wind spacecraft of Petschek-like magnetic reconnection exhausts and thin current sheets in the solar wind on 19 and 20 November 2007, encompassing a solar wind disturbance driven by a magnetic cloud and followed by a corotating high-speed stream. We have identified an unusually large number (11) of reconnection exhausts in this 2-day interval using 3-s plasma and magnetic field data. Despite the relatively smooth, large-scale field rotation associated with the magnetic cloud, 5 of the exhausts occurred within the cloud; 3 of those exhausts were associated with extremely small (less than 18 deg) local field shear angles. All 11 exhausts contained double-step magnetic field rotations; such double-step rotations are called bifurcated current sheets since they result from the splitting of reconnecting current sheets as an after-effect of the reconnection process. We have also identified 27 current sheets in this 2-day interval that were too thin to be adequately resolved by the 3-s plasma measurement cadence. All of these thin current sheets were well resolved by the 92 ms magnetic field measurement. At least 3, and possibly 6, of these relatively thin current sheets had double-step magnetic field rotations, indicating the underlying current sheets had probably been disrupted by magnetic reconnection. Current sheets thinner than about 3 ion inertial lengths were not present in this data set. The relative lack of such ultra-thin current sheets in the solar wind in general suggests that such current sheets usually are quickly disrupted by magnetic reconnection.

  1. Reconnection in photospheric-chromospheric current sheet and coronal heating

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, P.; Kumar, N.; Uddin, W.

    2011-02-15

    It has been observed by various ground and space based solar missions that magnetic reconnection occurs frequently in the photosphere-chromosphere region as well as in the solar corona. The purpose of this article is to examine the process of reconnection in thin current sheet formed between two oppositely directed magnetic flux tubes in photospheric-chromospheric region. Using the data of different atmospheric models for the solar photosphere and chromosphere, we have estimated the rate of magnetic reconnection in terms of Alfvenic Mach number, growth rate of tearing mode, island length scales, and energy dissipation rate necessary to heat the chromospheric plasma. It is found that magnetic Reynolds number for the current sheet in the chromosphere varies from 1.14 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 3} to 7.14 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} which indicates that the field lines in the photosphere and chromosphere reconnect with speed, that is, 0.00034 to 0.0297 times the Alfven speed. Frequency of the MHD waves generated in the chromosphere reconnection region is of the order of 100 Hz, so these high-frequency waves may be the sources of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration.

  2. Current Sheet Formation and Reconnection at a Magnetic X Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. Richard; Antiochos, S. K.

    2011-05-01

    Phenomena ranging from the quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to the highly explosive release of energy and acceleration of particles in flares are conjectured to result from magnetic reconnection at electric current sheets in the Sun's corona. We are investigating numerically the formation and eventual reconnection of a current sheet in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a null. Subjecting this simple configuration to unequal stresses in the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distorts the potential null into a double-Y-line current sheet. Although the gas pressure is finite in our simulations, so that the plasma beta is infinite at the null, we find that even small distortions of the magnetic field induce the formation of a tangential discontinuity there. This result is well known to occur in the zero-beta, force-free limit; surprisingly, it persists into the high-beta regime where, in principle, a small plasma pressure inhomogeneity could balance all of the magnetic stress. In addition to working to understand the dynamical details of this ideal process, we are examining the effect of resistive dissipation on the development of the current sheet and are seeking to determine the critical condition for fast-reconnection onset in the sheet. Our progress on understanding these issues, and the implications for the dynamic activity associated with current sheets in the solar corona, will be reported at the conference. We gratefully acknowledge NASA sponsorship of our research.

  3. Phenomenological Model of Current Sheet Canting in Pulsed Electromagnetic Accelerators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, Thomas; Choueiri, E. Y.

    2003-01-01

    The phenomenon of current sheet canting in pulsed electromagnetic accelerators is the departure of the plasma sheet (that carries the current) from a plane that is perpendicular to the electrodes to one that is skewed, or tipped. Review of pulsed electromagnetic accelerator literature reveals that current sheet canting is a ubiquitous phenomenon - occurring in all of the standard accelerator geometries. Developing an understanding of current sheet canting is important because it can detract from the propellant sweeping capabilities of current sheets and, hence, negatively impact the overall efficiency of pulsed electromagnetic accelerators. In the present study, it is postulated that depletion of plasma near the anode, which results from axial density gradient induced diamagnetic drift, occurs during the early stages of the discharge, creating a density gradient normal to the anode, with a characteristic length on the order of the ion skin depth. Rapid penetration of the magnetic field through this region ensues, due to the Hall effect, leading to a canted current front ahead of the initial current conduction channel. In this model, once the current sheet reaches appreciable speeds, entrainment of stationary propellant replenishes plasma in the anode region, inhibiting further Hall-convective transport of the magnetic field; however, the previously established tilted current sheet remains at a fairly constant canting angle for the remainder of the discharge cycle, exerting a transverse J x B force which drives plasma toward the cathode and accumulates it there. This proposed sequence of events has been incorporated into a phenomenological model. The model predicts that canting can be reduced by using low atomic mass propellants with high propellant loading number density; the model results are shown to give qualitative agreement with experimentally measured canting angle mass dependence trends.

  4. Simultaneous observation of the poleward expansion of substorm electrojet activity and the tailward expansion of current sheet disruption in the near-earth magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lopez, R. E.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Pulkkinen, T. I.; Bosinger, T.; Mcentire, R. W.; Potemra, T. A.

    1993-01-01

    A substorm that occurred on 7 June 1985 at 2209 UT for which simultaneous measurements from ground stations and CCE are available is considered. The event occurred during a close conjunction between CCE, the EISCAT magnetometer cross, and the STARE radar, allowing a detailed comparison of satellite and ground-based data. Two discrete activations took place during the first few minutes of this substorm: the expansion phase onset at 2209 UT and an intensification at 2212 UT, corresponding to a poleward expansion of activity. The energetic particle data indicate that the active region of the magnetotail during the 2212 UT intensification was located tailward of the active region at 2209 UT. This is direct evidence for a correspondence between tailward expansion of localized activity in the near-earth magnetotail (current disruption and particle energization) and poleward expansion of activity (electrojet formation) in the ionosphere.

  5. On spontaneous formation of current sheets: Untwisted magnetic fields

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharyya, R.; Low, B. C.; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2010-11-15

    This is a study of the spontaneous formation of electric current sheets in an incompressible viscous fluid with perfect electrical conductivity, governed by the magnetohydrodynamic Navier-Stokes equations. Numerical solutions to two initial value problems are presented for a three-dimensional, periodic, untwisted magnetic field evolving, with no change in magnetic topology under the frozen-in condition and at characteristic fluid Reynolds numbers of the order of 500, from a nonequilibrium initial state with the fluid at rest. The evolution converts magnetic free energy into kinetic energy to be all dissipated away by viscosity so that the field settles into a minimum-energy, static equilibrium. The solutions demonstrate that, as a consequence of the frozen-in condition, current sheets must form during the evolution despite the geometric simplicity of the prescribed initial fields. In addition to the current sheets associated with magnetic neutral points and field reversal layers, other sheets not associated with such magnetic features are also in evidence. These current sheets form on magnetic flux surfaces. This property is used to achieve a high degree of the frozen-in condition in the simulations, by describing the magnetic field entirely in terms of the advection of its flux surfaces and integrating the resulting governing equations with a customized version of a general-purpose high-resolution (viz., nonoscillatory) hydrodynamical simulation code EULAG [J. M. Prusa et al., Comput. Fluids 37, 1193 (2008)]. Incompressibility imposes the additional global constraint that the flux surfaces must evolve with no change in the spatial volumes they enclose. In this approach, current sheet formation is demonstrated graphically by the progressive pressing together of suitably selected flux surfaces until their separation has diminished below the minimal resolved distance on a fixed grid. The frozen-in condition then fails in the simulation as the field reconnects through

  6. Current sheets and pressure anisotropy in the reconnection exhaust

    SciTech Connect

    Le, A.; Karimabadi, H.; Roytershteyn, V.; Egedal, J.; Ng, J.; Scudder, J.; Daughton, W.; Liu, Y.-H.

    2014-01-15

    A particle-in-cell simulation shows that the exhaust during anti-parallel reconnection in the collisionless regime contains a current sheet extending 100 inertial lengths from the X line. The current sheet is supported by electron pressure anisotropy near the X line and ion anisotropy farther downstream. Field-aligned electron currents flowing outside the magnetic separatrices feed the exhaust current sheet and generate the out-of-plane, or Hall, magnetic field. Existing models based on different mechanisms for each particle species provide good estimates for the levels of pressure anisotropy. The ion anisotropy, which is strong enough to reach the firehose instability threshold, is also important for overall force balance. It reduces the outflow speed of the plasma.

  7. Plasma sheet turbulence observed by Cluster II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weygand, James M.; Kivelson, M. G.; Khurana, K. K.; Schwarzl, H. K.; Thompson, S. M.; McPherron, R. L.; Balogh, A.; Kistler, L. M.; Goldstein, M. L.; Borovsky, J.

    2005-01-01

    Cluster fluxgate magnetometer (FGM) and ion spectrometer (CIS) data are employed to analyze magnetic field fluctuations within the plasma sheet during passages through the magnetotail region in the summers of 2001 and 2002 and, in particular, to look for characteristics of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. Power spectral indices determined from power spectral density functions are on average larger than Kolmogorov's theoretical value for fluid turbulence as well as Kraichnan's theoretical value for MHD plasma turbulence. Probability distribution functions of the magnetic fluctuations show a scaling law over a large range of temporal scales with non-Gaussian distributions at small dissipative scales and inertial scales and more Gaussian distribution at large driving scales. Furthermore, a multifractal analysis of the magnetic field components shows scaling behavior in the inertial range of the fluctuations from about 20 s to 13 min for moments through the fifth order. Both the scaling behavior of the probability distribution functions and the multifractal structure function suggest that intermittent turbulence is present within the plasma sheet. The unique multispacecraft aspect and fortuitous spacecraft spacing allow us to examine the turbulent eddy scale sizes. Dynamic autocorrelation and cross correlation analysis of the magnetic field components allow us to determine that eddy scale sizes fit within the plasma sheet. These results suggest that magnetic field turbulence is occurring within the plasma sheet resulting in turbulent energy dissipation.

  8. New insights from modeling the neutral heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raath, J. L.; Strauss, R. D.; Potgieter, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Recently, the modulation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere has increasingly been studied by solving the well known transport equation via an approach based on stochastic differential equations. This approach, which is now well-established and published, allows for an in depth study of the modulation effects of the wavy heliospheric current sheet, in particular as its waviness increases with solar activity up to extreme maximum conditions. This is possible because of the numerical stability of the approach as well as its ability to trace pseudo-particles so that insightful trajectories of how they respond to the wavy heliospheric current sheet can be computed and displayed. Utilising such a stochastic model, we present valuable new insights into how the geometry of the wavy current sheet can affect the modulation of cosmic rays, especially at the highest levels of solar activity. This enables us to show, from a modeling perspective, why a certain choice for the current sheet profile is more suited than another at these high solar activity levels. We emphasise the importance of an effective tilt angle and illustrate how this concept can be employed effectively in interpreting results pertaining to the wavy current sheet as well as the modulation associated with this important heliospheric structure.

  9. Dynamic of Current Sheets and Their Associated Particle Energization

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Guo, Fan; Makwan, Kirit; Li, Xiaocan; Zhandrin, Vladimir; Daughton, William Scott

    2015-08-19

    Magnetic reconnection in current sheets has relevance to Earth's magnetosphere, solar flares, high-energy astrophysics (pulsar wind nebula (e.g. Crab Nebula), gamma-ray bursts, black hole jets), and laboratory plasma/fusion. Data are shown for several cases with varying values of configuration energy Ec and β. Several conclusions were drawn: Depending on the “configuration energy”, the formation, shape, and lifetime of current sheets can vary. Plasma condition (configuration, β, driving, etc.) strongly affect the efficiency of particle acceleration. For low β and general “configuration energy”, particle heating is expected. For low β, large and long-lived current sheets, it is possible to produce highly non-thermal particles via collisionless plasmoid reconnection.

  10. On current sheet approximations in models of eruptive flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bungey, T. N.; Forbes, T. G.

    1994-01-01

    We consider an approximation sometimes used for current sheets in flux-rope models of eruptive flares. This approximation is based on a linear expansion of the background field in the vicinity of the current sheet, and it is valid when the length of the current sheet is small compared to the scale length of the coronal magnetic field. However, we find that flux-rope models which use this approximation predict the occurrence of an eruption due to a loss of ideal-MHD equilibrium even when the corresponding exact solution shows that no such eruption occurs. Determination of whether a loss of equilibrium exists can only be obtained by including higher order terms in the expansion of the field or by using the exact solution.

  11. Detection of thin current sheets and associated reconnection in the Earth's turbulent magnetosheath using cluster multi-point measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, Alexandros; Retino, Alessandro; Sahraoui, Fouad; Greco, Antonella; Vaivads, Andris; Sundkvist, David; Canu, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Magnetic reconnection occurs in turbulent plasma within a large number of volume-filling thin current sheets and is one major candidate for energy dissipation of turbulent plasma. Such dissipation results in particle heating and non-thermal particle acceleration. In situ observations are needed to study the detailed properties of thin current sheets and associated reconnection, in order to determine its importance as a dissipation mechanism at small scales. In particular, multi-point measurements are crucial to unambiguously identify spatial scales (e.g current sheet thickness) and estimate key quantities such as E*J. Here we present a study of the properties of thin current sheets detected in the Earths magnetosheath downstream of the quasi-parallel shock by using Cluster spacecraft data. The current sheets were detected by the rotation of the magnetic field as computed by four-point measurements. We study the distribution of current sheets as a function of the magnetic shear angle θ, their duration and the waiting time between consecutive current sheets. We found that high shear (θ > 90 degrees) current sheets show different properties with respect to low shear current sheets (θ < 90 degrees). These high-shear current sheets account for about ˜ 20% of the total and have an average thickness comparable to the ion inertial length. We also compare our four-point detection method with other single-point methods (e.g. Partial Variance of Increments - PVI) and we discuss the results of such comparison.

  12. Magnetic Reconnection Onset and Energy Release at Current Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, Spiro K.

    2015-04-01

    Reconnection and energy release at current sheets are important at the Sun (coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, flares, and jets) and at the Earth (magnetopause flux transfer events and magnetotail substorms) and other magnetized planets, and occur also at the interface between the Heliosphere and the interstellar medium, the heliopause. The consequences range from relatively quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to highly explosive releases of energy and accelerated particles. We use the Adaptively Refined Magnetohydrodynamics Solver (ARMS) model to investigate the self-consistent formation and reconnection of current sheets in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a magnetic null point. Unequal stresses applied to the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distort the potential null into a double-Y-type current sheet. We find that this distortion eventually leads to onset of fast magnetic reconnection across the sheet, with copious production, merging, and ejection of magnetic islands due to plasmoid instability. In the absence of a mechanism for ideal instability or loss of equilibrium of the global structure, however, this reconnection leads to minimal energy release. Essentially, the current sheet oscillates about its force-free equilibrium configuration. When the structure is susceptible to a large-scale rearrangement of the magnetic field, on the other hand, the energy release becomes explosive. We identify the conditions required for reconnection to transform rapidly a large fraction of the magnetic free energy into kinetic and other forms of plasma energy, and to restructure the current sheet and its surrounding magnetic field dramatically. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding heliophysical activity, particularly eruptions, flares, and jets in the corona.Our research was supported by NASA’s Heliophysics Supporting Research and Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology programs.

  13. Plasmoid instability in a large post-CME current sheet system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, L.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y.; CenterIntegrated Computation; Analysis of Reconnection; Turbulence

    2011-12-01

    Solar flares and CME that cause violent space weather change have been studied for years. The standard model suggests that there is a current sheet connecting the CME and the site of the post-CME flare after the eruption, but understanding of the detailed physical mechanism of dynamical processes in the current sheet remains incomplete. Recently, the secondary plasmoid instabilities of large scale current sheet in high Lundquist number environment such as solar corona and the change of magnetic topology in such a current sheet system has become a subject of great interest (Bhattacharjee et al. 2009). In our work, we study a post-CME current sheet via both observation and simulation. We use SOHO/LASCO observations of a fast halo CME as well as a slow CME. After the fast halo CME event on January 8, 2002, we observe a long, thin current sheet which connects the CME to a flare site on the surface of the sun. In this current sheet we identify over 60 bright plasmoid-like blobs in 39 hours. In the slow CME event on June 25, 2005, we observe 32 such blobs in 18 hours after the formation of the current sheet. We simulate both cases using high-Lundquist-number resistive MHD simulations of the model of Lin & Forbes (2000), and demonstrate that the distribution of plasmoid size in both cases appears to conform well to a distribution function that is independent of the Lundquist number and predicted by theory. The average observed plasmoid speed in both cases is a fraction of the typical Alfven speed, qualitatively consistent with the simulations. Thus, we propose that these observations can be plausibly accounted for by the plasmoid instability of the large-scale current sheet. The observed bright blobs are probably evidence of large-scale plasmoids, and their behavior appears to be qualitatively consistent with high-Lundquist-number MHD simulations.
    observation case summary

  14. An Empirical Model of Saturn's Current Sheet Based on Global MHD Modeling of Saturn's Magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, K. C.; Nickerson, J. S.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2014-12-01

    Cassini observations imply that during southern summer Saturn's magnetospheric current sheet is displaced northward above the rotational equator and should be similarly displaced southward during northern summer [C.S. Arridge et al., Warping of Saturn's magnetospheric and magnetotail current sheets, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 113, August 2008]. Arridge et al. show that Cassini data from the noon, midnight and dawn local time sectors clearly indicate this bending and they present an azimuthally independent model to describe this bowl shaped geometry. We have used our global MHD model, BATS-R-US/SWMF, to study Saturn's magnetospheric current sheet under different solar wind dynamic pressures and solar zenith angle conditions. We find that under typical conditions the current sheet does bend upward and take on a basic shape similar to the Arridge model in the noon, midnight, and dawn sectors. However, the MHD model results show significant variations from the Arridge model including the degree of bending, variations away from a simple bowl shape, non-uniformity across local time sectors, drastic deviations in the dusk sector, and a dependence on the solar wind dynamic pressure. We will present a detailed description of our 3D MHD model results and the characteristics of the current sheet in the model. We will point out variations from the Arridge model. In addition, we will present a new empirical model of Saturn's current sheet that attempts to characterize the dependences on the local time sector and the solar wind dynamic pressure.

  15. Earth's distant magnetotail current sheet near and beyond lunar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasko, I. Y.; Petrukovich, A. A.; Artemyev, A. V.; Nakamura, R.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-10-01

    We analyze the structure of the Earth magnetotail current sheet (CS) in middle, X∈[-50,-20] RE, and distant, X∈[-100,-80] RE, regions using data set of 573 CS crossings by Geotail in 1994-1995. For a subset of 213 CSs we determine the CS thickness L, average current density j0, and velocity vD=j0/en0 (n0 is the ion number density). We find similar dawn-dusk distributions of CS parameters for middle and distant tail: L is about 3000 km at the dusk flank and grows up to 12,000 km toward the dawn flank; j0 grows toward the dusk flank by a factor of 2-3; and the most intense CSs (with higher vD) are observed near midnight. We show that ion-scale CSs with the thickness of several ion thermal gyroradii (say less than seven) are observed in middle and distant tail in more than 50% of crossings. For observed CSs electrons likely provide the dominant contribution to the current density. We divide the subset into intense and weak CSs (using parameter vD). Weak CSs have thickness of about 20 ion thermal gyroradii and Bz of about 1.5 nT. Intense CSs have thickness of about 3-7 thermal gyroradii and much smaller Bz implying more stretched field line configuration. Intense CSs are accompanied by fast ion flows: vD is larger for larger amplitudes of ion bulk velocity vx that is likely due to larger contribution of Speiser ions. The properties of the CS in middle and distant tail are compared with those found for the near-Earth tail.

  16. Thin current sheets in collisionless plasma: Equilibrium structure, plasma instabilities, and particle acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Zelenyi, L. M.; Malova, H. V.; Artemyev, A. V.; Popov, V. Yu.; Petrukovich, A. A.

    2011-02-15

    The review is devoted to plasma structures with an extremely small transverse size, namely, thin current sheets that have been discovered and investigated by spacecraft observations in the Earth's magnetotail in the last few decades. The formation of current sheets is attributed to complicated dynamic processes occurring in a collisionless space plasma during geomagnetic perturbations and near the magnetic reconnection regions. The models that describe thin current structures in the Earth's magnetotail are reviewed. They are based on the assumption of the quasi-adiabatic ion dynamics in a relatively weak magnetic field of the magnetotail neutral sheet, where the ions can become unmagnetized. It is shown that the ion distribution can be represented as a function of the integrals of particle motion-the total energy and quasi-adiabatic invariant. Various modifications of the initial equilibrium are considered that are obtained with allowance for the currents of magnetized electrons, the contribution of oxygen ions, the asymmetry of plasma sources, and the effects related to the non-Maxwellian particle distributions. The theoretical results are compared with the observational data from the Cluster spacecraft mission. Various plasma instabilities developing in thin current sheets are investigated. The evolution of the tearing mode is analyzed, and the parameter range in which the mode can grow are determined. The paradox of complete stabilization of the tearing mode in current sheets with a nonzero normal magnetic field component is thereby resolved based on the quasi-adiabatic model. It is shown that, over a wide range of current sheet parameters and the propagation directions of large-scale unstable waves, various modified drift instabilities-kink and sausage modes-can develop in the system. Based on the concept of a turbulent electromagnetic field excited as a result of the development and saturation of unstable waves, a mechanism for charged particle acceleration in

  17. Particle energization and current sheets in Alfvenic plasma turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makwana, Kirit; Li, Hui; Guo, Fan; Daughton, William; Cattaneo, Fausto

    2015-11-01

    Plasma turbulence is driven by injecting energy at large scales through stirring or instabilities. This energy cascades forward to smaller scales by nonlinear interactions, described by magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) at scales larger than the ion gyroradius. At smaller scales, the fluid description of MHD breaks down and kinetic mechanisms convert turbulent energy into particle energy. We investigate this entire process by simulating the cascade of strongly interacting Alfven waves using MHD and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. The plasma beta is varied and particle heating is analyzed. Anisotropic heating of particles is observed. We calculate the fraction of injected energy converted into non-thermal energy. At low beta we obtain a significant non-thermal component to the particle energy distribution function. We investigate the mechanisms behind this acceleration. The velocity distribution function is correlated with the sites of turbulent current sheets. The different dissipative terms due to curvature drift, gradB drift, polarization drifts, and parallel current density are also calculated. This has applications for understanding particle energization in turbulent space plasmas.

  18. 3-D Particle Simulation of Current Sheet Instabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Lin, Yu; Wang, Xueyi; Tummel, Kurt; Chen, Liu

    2015-11-01

    The electrostatic (ES) and electromagnetic (EM) instabilities of a Harris current sheet are investigated using a 3-D linearized (δf) gyrokinetic (GK) electron and fully kinetic (FK) ion (GeFi) particle simulation code. The equilibrium magnetic field consists of an asymptotic anti-parallel Bx 0 and a guide field BG. The ES simulations show the excitation of lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI) at the current sheet edge. The growth rate of the 3-D LHDI is scanned through the (kx ,ky) space. The most unstable modes are found to be at k∥ = 0 for smaller ky. As ky increases, the growth rate shows two peaks at k∥ ≠ 0 , consistent with analytical GK theory. The eigenmode structure and growth rate of LHDI obtained from the GeFi simulation agree well with those obtained from the FK PIC simulation. Decreasing BG, the asymptotic βe 0, or background density can destabilize the LHDI. In the EM simulation, tearing mode instability is dominant in the cases with ky kx , there exist two unstable modes: a kink-like (LHDI) mode at the current sheet edge and a sausage-like mode at the sheet center. The results are compared with the GK eigenmode theory and the FK simulation.

  19. Metastability of collisionless current sheets. Hannes Alfven Lecture on behalf of Albert Galeev

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, L.; Galeev, A.

    2009-04-01

    Complicated magnetic configurations containing numerous magnetic field reversals are widespread in nature. Each of such reversals is supported by corresponding current sheet (CS) which could often have very small thickness comparable to ion skin depth. Since the beginning of Space Age "in situ" investigations of current sheets in the Earth's magnetosphere (magnetopause and magnetotail) acquired one of the highest priorities in national space programs and became one of the cornerstones of various international activities, like ISTP, IACG, and ILWS, which appeared to be very effective. Intense theoretical efforts were undertaken by theorists all over the world to develop both equilibrium models of current sheets and analyze its stability and further nonlinear evolution. Lack of collisions and smallness of many characteristic scales in comparison with ion Larmor radius made an application of straightforward MHD approach dramatically questionable. Professor Alfven was one of the first who suggested in 1968 simple but very physical self-consistent particle model of CS. One of the most intriguing features of current sheets in collisionless plasma is their ability to accumulate tremendous amounts of magnetic energy (1015 J for magnetospheric substorms , 1024 J for solar flare associated sheets) and then suddenly sometimes almost explosively release them. We will demonstrate in this talk that such METASTABILITY is a principal intrinsic feature of current sheets in hot plasma. Very intense theoretical debates of 80-ies and late 90-ies resulted in some consensus that current sheets with the small component of magnetic field normal to their plane become overstable for spontaneous reconnection (i.e. versus the development of ion tearing mode). Analysis of INTERBALL and especially 4- point CLUSTER data have shown that real current sheets observed in the Earth's magnetotail very rarely resemble simplistic HARRIS current sheets which have been used for an early stability

  20. Fe, O, and C Charge States Associated with Quiescent Versus Active Current Sheets in the Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, S. T.; Ko, Y.-K.; vonSteiger, R.

    2008-01-01

    Ulysses MAG data were used to locate the heliospheric current sheet in data from 1991 through 2006. The purpose was to characterize typical charge states for Fe, O, and C in the vicinity of the current sheet and provide insight into the physical sources for these charge states in the corona. A study of He/H around the current sheets has led to a clear distinction between quiescent current sheets at times of low solar activity and active current sheets associated with magnetic clouds (and, presumably, ICMES). It has been shown that high ionization state Fe is produced in the corona in current sheets associated with CMEs through spectroscopic observations of the corona and through in situ detection at Ulysses. Here we show that the ionization state of Fe is typically only enhanced around active current sheets while the ionization states of O and C are commonly enhanced around both quiescent and active current sheets. This is consistent with UV coronal spectroscopy, which has shown that reconnection in current sheets behind CMEs leads to high temperatures not typically seen above quiet streamers.

  1. Relating thin current sheet formation and tail reconnection to substorm development

    SciTech Connect

    Birn, J.; Schindler, K.

    2002-01-01

    Observations and simulations have demonstrated the important role of thin current sheet formation and magnetic reconnection in the course of substorms. We discuss new results on the formation of thin current sheets, obtained both within MHD and kinetic theory. They demonstrate when kinetic effects become important and indicate the possibility of a catastrophic onset of substorm dynamics and the potential association with arc brightening. MHD simulations show the role of reconnection in the buildup of the substorm current wedge and the influence of the underlying configuration on the quasi-static and dynamic evolution.

  2. Cluster Multipoint Observations of Magnetotail Current Instabilities Reveal Signatures Predicted by SIMULATION!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buechner, J.; Nikutowski, B.; Daly, P.; Mall, U.; Balogh, A.; Glassmeier, K.; Fornacon, K.; Korth, A.; Sauvaud, J.; Reme, H.

    2002-05-01

    Utilizing CLUSTER-multipoint observations during tail passages of the four s/c we found evidence for thin current sheet traversals. At the center of the sheet a plasma wave was found to propagate in the current direction. We compare the wave features with signatures of thin current sheet instabilities and reconnection which we obtained by kinetic plasma simulation. It appears that several instability signatures predicted by simulation can be found in CLUSTER observations. Thus the observations seem to indicate that thin current sheets develop an unstable wave mode propagating in the current direction. In the observation the current instability was followed by an outbreak of reconnection.

  3. A Tailward Moving Current Sheet Normal Magnetic Field Front Followed by an Earthward Moving Dipolarization Front

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hwang, K.-J.; Goldstein, M. L.; Moore, T. E.; Walsh, B. M.; Baishev, D. G.; Moiseyev, A. V.; Shevtsov, B. M.; Yumoto, K.

    2014-01-01

    A case study is presented using measurements from the Cluster spacecraft and ground-based magnetometers that show a substorm onset propagating from the inner to outer plasma sheet. On 3 October 2005, Cluster, traversing an ion-scale current sheet at the near-Earth plasma sheet, detected a sudden enhancement of Bz, which was immediately followed by a series of flux rope structures. Both the local Bz enhancement and flux ropes propagated tailward. Approximately 5 min later, another Bz enhancement, followed by a large density decrease, was observed to rapidly propagate earthward. Between the two Bz enhancements, a significant removal of magnetic flux occurred, possibly resulting from the tailward moving Bz enhancement and flux ropes. In our scenario, this flux removal caused the magnetotail to be globally stretched so that the thinnest sheet formed tailward of Cluster. The thinned current sheet facilitated magnetic reconnection that quickly evolved from plasma sheet to lobe and generated the later earthward moving dipolarization front (DF) followed by a reduction in density and entropy. Ground magnetograms located near the meridian of Cluster's magnetic foot points show two-step bay enhancements. The positive bay associated with the first Bz enhancement indicates that the substorm onset signatures propagated from the inner to the outer plasma sheet, consistent with the Cluster observation. The more intense bay features associated with the later DF are consistent with the earthward motion of the front. The event suggests that current disruption signatures that originated in the near-Earth current sheet propagated tailward, triggering or facilitating midtail reconnection, thereby preconditioning the magnetosphere for a later strong substorm enhancement.

  4. A tailward moving current sheet normal magnetic field front followed by an earthward moving dipolarization front

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, K.-J.; Goldstein, M. L.; Moore, T. E.; Walsh, B. M.; Baishev, D. G.; Moiseyev, A. V.; Shevtsov, B. M.; Yumoto, K.

    2014-07-01

    A case study is presented using measurements from the Cluster spacecraft and ground-based magnetometers that show a substorm onset propagating from the inner to outer plasma sheet. On 3 October 2005, Cluster, traversing an ion-scale current sheet at the near-Earth plasma sheet, detected a sudden enhancement of Bz, which was immediately followed by a series of flux rope structures. Both the local Bz enhancement and flux ropes propagated tailward. Approximately 5 min later, another Bz enhancement, followed by a large density decrease, was observed to rapidly propagate earthward. Between the two Bz enhancements, a significant removal of magnetic flux occurred, possibly resulting from the tailward moving Bz enhancement and flux ropes. In our scenario, this flux removal caused the magnetotail to be globally stretched so that the thinnest sheet formed tailward of Cluster. The thinned current sheet facilitated magnetic reconnection that quickly evolved from plasma sheet to lobe and generated the later earthward moving dipolarization front (DF) followed by a reduction in density and entropy. Ground magnetograms located near the meridian of Cluster's magnetic foot points show two-step bay enhancements. The positive bay associated with the first Bz enhancement indicates that the substorm onset signatures propagated from the inner to the outer plasma sheet, consistent with the Cluster observation. The more intense bay features associated with the later DF are consistent with the earthward motion of the front. The event suggests that current disruption signatures that originated in the near-Earth current sheet propagated tailward, triggering or facilitating midtail reconnection, thereby preconditioning the magnetosphere for a later strong substorm enhancement.

  5. Galactic Cosmic Ray Modulation near the Heliospheric Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, S. R.; Owens, M. J.; Lockwood, M.; Scott, C. J.

    2014-07-01

    Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are modulated by the heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) both over decadal time scales (due to long-term, global HMF variations), and over time scales of a few hours (associated with solar wind structures such as coronal mass ejections or the heliospheric current sheet, HCS). Due to the close association between the HCS, the streamer belt, and the band of slow solar wind, HCS crossings are often associated with corotating interaction regions where fast solar wind catches up and compresses slow solar wind ahead of it. However, not all HCS crossings are associated with strong compressions. In this study we categorize HCS crossings in two ways: Firstly, using the change in magnetic polarity, as either away-to-toward (AT) or toward-to-away (TA) magnetic field directions relative to the Sun and, secondly, using the strength of the associated solar wind compression, determined from the observed plasma density enhancement. For each category, we use superposed epoch analyses to show differences in both solar wind parameters and GCR flux inferred from neutron monitors. For strong-compression HCS crossings, we observe a peak in neutron counts preceding the HCS crossing, followed by a large drop after the crossing, attributable to the so-called `snow-plough' effect. For weak-compression HCS crossings, where magnetic field polarity effects are more readily observable, we instead observe that the neutron counts have a tendency to peak in the away magnetic field sector. By splitting the data by the dominant polarity at each solar polar region, we find that the increase in GCR flux prior to the HCS crossing is primarily from strong compressions in cycles with negative north polar fields due to GCR drift effects. Finally, we report on unexpected differences in GCR behavior between TA weak compressions during opposing polarity cycles.

  6. Convection Constraints and Current Sheet Thinning During the Substorm Growth Phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, A.; Hsieh, M.

    2012-12-01

    A typical property during the growth phase of geomagnetic substorms is the thinning of the near-Earth current sheet, most pronounced in the region between 6 and 15 RE. We propose that the cause for this current sheet thinning is convection from the midnight tail region to the dayside to replenish magnetospheric magnetic flux that is eroded at the dayside as a result of dayside reconnection. Slow (adiabatic) convection from the near-Earth tail region toward the dayside must conserve the entropy on magnetic field lines. This constraint prohibits a source of magnetic flux from a region further out in the magnetotail. Thus the near-Earth tail region is increasingly depleted of magnetic flux (the Erickson and Wolf [1980] problem) with entropy matching that of flux tubes that are eroded on the dayside. It is proposed that the magnetic flux depletion in the near-Earth tail forces the formation of thin current layers. The process is illustrated and examined by three-dimensional meso-scale MHD simulations. It is shown that the simulations yield a time scale, location, and other general characteristics of the current sheet evolution consistent with observations during the substorm growth phase. The developing thin current sheet is easily destabilized and can undergo localized reconnection events. We present properties of the thinning current sheet, the associated entropy evolution, examples of localized reconnection onset and we discuss the dependence of this process on external parameters such the global reconnection rate.

  7. Current Sheets Formation in Tangled Coronal Magnetic Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Parker, E. N.

    2013-08-01

    We investigate the dynamical evolution of magnetic fields in closed regions of solar and stellar coronae. To understand under which conditions current sheets form, we examine dissipative and ideal reduced magnetohydrodynamic models in Cartesian geometry, where two magnetic field components are present: the strong guide field B 0, extended along the axial direction, and the dynamical orthogonal field b. Magnetic field lines thread the system along the axial direction that spans the length L and are line-tied at the top and bottom plates. The magnetic field b initially has only large scales, with its gradient (current) length scale of the order of l b . We identify the magnetic intensity threshold b/B 0 ~ l b /L. For values of b below this threshold, field-line tension inhibits the formation of current sheets, while above the threshold they form quickly on fast ideal timescales. In the ideal case, above the magnetic threshold, we show that current sheets thickness decreases in time until it becomes smaller than the grid resolution, with the analyticity strip width δ decreasing at least exponentially, after which the simulations become underresolved.

  8. CURRENT SHEETS FORMATION IN TANGLED CORONAL MAGNETIC FIELDS

    SciTech Connect

    Rappazzo, A. F.; Parker, E. N. E-mail: parker@oddjob.uchicago.edu

    2013-08-10

    We investigate the dynamical evolution of magnetic fields in closed regions of solar and stellar coronae. To understand under which conditions current sheets form, we examine dissipative and ideal reduced magnetohydrodynamic models in Cartesian geometry, where two magnetic field components are present: the strong guide field B{sub 0}, extended along the axial direction, and the dynamical orthogonal field b. Magnetic field lines thread the system along the axial direction that spans the length L and are line-tied at the top and bottom plates. The magnetic field b initially has only large scales, with its gradient (current) length scale of the order of l{sub b}. We identify the magnetic intensity threshold b/B{sub 0} {approx} l{sub b}/L. For values of b below this threshold, field-line tension inhibits the formation of current sheets, while above the threshold they form quickly on fast ideal timescales. In the ideal case, above the magnetic threshold, we show that current sheets thickness decreases in time until it becomes smaller than the grid resolution, with the analyticity strip width {delta} decreasing at least exponentially, after which the simulations become underresolved.

  9. Wavy Current Sheet in Space and on the Ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volwerk, Martin; Nakamura, Rumi; Zhang, Tielong; Boakes, Peter; Wang, Guoqiang

    2014-05-01

    One event from the ECLAT wavy current sheet event list (15 October 2004) is studied where the Cluster spacecraft are located near the dusk flank of the Earth's magnetotail (-12, 7, 4) Re in GSM coordinates. It is the purpose of this investigation to see whether the waves measured in the Earth's magnetotail have a counterpart in the magnetometer measurements on the ground. For the event under consideration, the Cluster data show a fast earthward plasma flow, after which the current sheet starts to oscillate with "harmonic" waves near the Pi2 frequency band. Investigating the normals of the current sheet during these waves shows that this is magnetotail flapping. The magnetic foot points of the Cluster spacecraft are near the 210 meridian stations TIK and KTN. Only TIK shows power at the same frequency as Cluster, whereas KTN does not show any signature of these waves. The curlometer technique applied to the Cluster data shows that there are strong, variable, field-aligned currents during the flapping period, which may couple the flapping to the ground over a small range of longitudes.

  10. Current carriers in the near-earth cross-tail current sheet during substorm growth phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitchell, D. G.; Williams, D. J.; Huang, C. Y.; Frank, L. A.; Russell, C. T.

    1990-01-01

    Throughout most of the growth phase of a substorm, the cross-tail current at x about -10 Re can be supplied by the curvature drift of a bi-directional field aligned distribution of 1 keV electrons. Just prior to its local disruption after substorm onset, the cross-tail current in the now thin (about 400 km) current sheet is carried by the cross-tail serpentine motion of non-adiabatic ions (Speiser, 1965). The instability of this latter current leads to the local disruption of the near-earth current sheet.

  11. Heliospheric current sheet inclinations predicted from source surface maps

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shodhan, S.; Crooker, N. U.; Hughes, W. J.; Siscoe, G. L.

    1994-01-01

    The inclinations of the neutral line at the ecliptic plane derived from source surface model maps of coronal fields are measured for the interval from June 1976 to March 1992. The mean and median values of 53 deg and 57 deg are close to the average inclinations determined earlier from minimum variance analyses of solar wind measurements at sector boundaries, but the mode falls in the 80 deg - 90 deg bin. This result, which is based on the model assumptions implicit in deriving the source surface maps, predicts that the heliospheric current sheet typically intersects the ecliptic plane nearly at right angles, even without steepening by stream interaction regions. High inclinations dominate the solar cycle for about 7 years around solar maximum. Dips to lower inclination occur near solar minimum, but high variance admits a wide range of inclinations throughout the cycle. Compared to the smooth solar cycle variation of the maximum latitudinal excursion of the neutral line, often treated as the tilt angle of a flat heliospheric current sheet, the noisy variation of the inclinations reflects the degree to which the neutral line deviates from a sine wave, implying warps and corrugations in the current sheet. About a third of the time the neutral line so deviates that it doubles back in longitude.

  12. How to identify reconnecting current sheets in incompressible Hall MHD turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donato, S.; Greco, A.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Servidio, S.; Dmitruk, P.

    2013-07-01

    Using high Reynolds number simulations of two-dimensional Hall magnetohydrodynamics (HMHD) turbulence, a statistical association between magnetic discontinuities and magnetic reconnection is demonstrated. We find that sets of discontinuities, identified using the normalized partial variance of vector increments (PVI method), strongly depend on threshold in PVI statistic that is used as an identifying condition and on the strength of the Hall term. The analysis confirms that the Hall term plays an important role in turbulence and it affects the methods employed for detection of reconnecting current sheets. In particular, we found the following: (1) Among all the discontinuities detected by the PVI method, the reconnecting ones are on average thinner. (2) A reduction in size of all discontinuities and of reconnecting current sheets is observed as the threshold θ grows. (3) The average width of the reconnecting current sheets decreases as the strength of the Hall term grows and the ion inertial scale di increases with respect to the dissipative scale.

  13. Instabilities in a thin current sheet and their consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.

    2004-04-01

    Using a fully 3-D particle in-cell simulation, we studied the electrodynamics of a thin current sheet (CS). Starting with a uniform plasma and anti-parallel magnetic field, Harris equilibrium is achieved during the early stage of the simulation. In the processes of reaching the equilibrium, both electrons and ions in the newly formed CS are energized and develop pitch-angle anisotropies. We find two distinct stages of primarily electrostatic instabilities; in the first stage the relative drift between electrons and ions drives the instability in the central regions of the CS. The electrostatic fluctuations scatter electrons causing current disruption in the central region. The associated reduction in the average drift velocity of the current-carrying electrons generates sheared flow. The second stage of the instability begins when the drift velocity develops a minimum in the central plane. Then the shear and the growing electrostatic fluctuations under the condition of the maintained anti-parallel driving magnetic field configuration feed each other making the instability explosive. The growing fluctuations create plasma clumps as the electrons and ions are progressively trapped in the large-amplitude waves. The density clumping also generates clumps in the current. The non-uniform current distribution causes magnetic reconnection, accompanied by heating of electrons and ion at a fast rate and nearly complete bifurcation of the current sheet. Anomalous resistivity during different stages of the evolution of the CS is calculated and compared against theory.

  14. Instabilities in a Thin Current Sheet and Their Consequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.

    Using a fully 3-D particle in-cell simulation, we studied the electrodynamics of a thin current sheet (CS). Starting with a uniform plasma and anti-parallel magnetic field, Harris equilibrium is achieved during the early stage of the simulation. In the processes of reaching the equilibrium, both electrons and ions in the newly formed CS are energized and develop pitch-angle anisotropies. We find two distinct stages of primarily electrostatic instabilities; in the first stage the relative drift between electrons and ions drives the instability in the central regions of the CS. The electrostatic fluctuations scatter electrons causing current disruption in the central region. The associated reduction in the average drift velocity of the current-carrying electrons generates sheared flow. The second stage of the instability begins when the drift velocity develops a minimum in the central plane. Then the shear and the growing electrostatic fluctuations under the condition of the maintained anti-parallel driving magnetic field configuration feed each other making the instability explosive. The growing fluctuations create plasma clumps as the electrons and ions are progressively trapped in the large-amplitude waves. The density clumping also generates clumps in the current. The non-uniform current distribution causes magnetic reconnection, accompanied by heating of electrons and ion at a fast rate and nearly complete bifurcation of the current sheet. Anomalous resistivity during different stages of the evolution of the CS is calculated and compared against theory.

  15. Fast magnetic reconnection with plasmoid / current sheet ejection events in laboratory experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inomoto, Michiaki; Ono, Yasushi; Hayashi, Yoshinori

    2012-07-01

    Non-steady and fast magnetic reconnections due to plasmoid or current sheet ejection events have been investigated in laboratory experiments using TS-3, TS-4 and UTST plasma merging devices in the University of Tokyo. In these devices, magnetic reconnection is induced by two different schemes, a) push reconnection driven by flux injection from the upstream region, b) pull reconnection driven by flux extraction to the downstream region. Current sheet or plasmoid ejection events are observed in these reconnection experiments particularly with strong guide magnetic field parallel to the reconnection electric field. In push reconnection experiments, anomalous resistivity is induced by the ion's kinetic effect (meandering motion) when the current sheet width is compressed shorter than the ion gyroradius by the strongly injected inflow flux. This fast reconnection regime does not involve plasmoid / current sheet ejection events. On the other hand, the guide field reduces the ion gyroradius and suppresses the onset of the anomalous resistivity, providing slow and steady magnetic reconnection. Impulsive fast reconnection with strong guide field develops, nevertheless, due to plasmoid / current sheet ejection events in pull and push reconnection experiments with extremely large external driving forces. In such a situation, the inflow flux is forcedly pushed into the reconnection region even faster than the maximal reconnection rate, resulting in flux pile up in front of the diffusion region. This piled flux induces large current density inside the current sheet in which plasmoid structure with closed flux surface is formed in pull reconnection case. The induced large current density or plasmoid is then ejected from the diffusion region with significant increase of reconnection electric field. As a result, magnetic reconnection condition with even larger reconnection rate than that obtained by anomalous resistivity was achieved under strong guide field and large external

  16. Current-sheet velocity oscillation and radiation emission in plasma focus discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Melzacki, K.; Nardi, V.

    1995-12-31

    A phenomenon of current sheet velocity oscillation during the compression phase in plasma focus discharge has been found with a Schlieren photography technique. The oscillation period has been determined as about 17 ns and coincided with the period of the simultaneously measured time derivative of the current. The same velocity behavior has been observed with magnetic probes. A microwave emission burst (in 3 cm and 10 cm bands) consisting of a sequence of very narrow (FWHM < 1 ns) peaks, 17 ns apart one another, has also been observed before, during, and after the pinch. The microwave was polarized with the electric field parallel to the electrode axis. All these effects have been recorded on the same PF device (6 kJ). The origin of these oscillations can be interpreted in a few ways, e.g. as related to the electrode-plasma sheath RLC circuit, or to the j{sub s}xB of the plasma current sheet, where j{sub s} is the current density component perpendicular to the current sheet surface. The j{sub s} is related to the current sheet velocity. These results provide the basis of the analysis.

  17. Experimental Study of Lower-hybrid Drift Turbulence in a Reconnecting Current Sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Carter, T. A.; Yamada, M.; Ji, H.; Kulsrud, R. M.; Trintchouck, F.

    2002-06-18

    The role of turbulence in the process of magnetic reconnection has been the subject of a great deal of study and debate in the theoretical literature. At issue in this debate is whether turbulence is essential for fast magnetic reconnection to occur in collisionless current sheets. Some theories claim it is necessary in order to provide anomalous resistivity, while others present a laminar fast reconnection mechanism based on the Hall term in the generalized Ohm's law. In this work, a thorough study of electrostatic potential fluctuations in the current sheet of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) [M. Yamada et al., Phys. Plasmas 4, 1936 (1997)] was performed in order to ascertain the importance of turbulence in a laboratory reconnection experiment. Using amplified floating Langmuir probes, broadband fluctuations in the lower hybrid frequency range (fLH approximately 5-15 MHz) were measured which arise with the formation of the current sheet in MRX. The frequency spectrum, spatial amplitude profile, and spatial correlation characteristics of the measured turbulence were examined carefully, finding consistency with theories of the lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI). The LHDI and its role in magnetic reconnection has been studied theoretically for decades, but this work represents the first detection and detailed study of the LHDI in a laboratory current sheet. The observation of the LHDI in MRX has provided the unique opportunity to uncover the role of this instability in collisionless reconnection. It was found that: (1) the LHDI fluctuations are confined to the low-beta edge of current sheets in MRX; (2) the LHDI amplitude does not correlate well in time or space with the reconnection electric field, which is directly related to the rate of reconnection; and (3) significant LHDI amplitude persists in high collisionality current sheets where the reconnection rate is classical. These findings suggest that the measured LHDI fluctuations do not play an

  18. Observations of Electron Vorticity in the Inner Plasma Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gurgiolo, C.; Goldstein, M. L.; Vinas, A. F.; Matthaeus, W. H.; Fazakerley, A. N.

    2011-01-01

    From a limited number of observations it appears that vorticity is a common feature in the inner plasma sheet. With the four Cluster spacecraft and the four PEACE instruments positioned in a tetrahedral configuration, for the first time it is possible to directly estimate the electron fluid vorticity in a space plasma. We show examples of electron fluid vorticity from multiple plasma sheet crossings. These include three time periods when Cluster passed through a reconnection ion diffusion region. Enhancements in vorticity are seen in association with each crossing of the ion diffusion region.

  19. Generation of sheet currents by high frequency fast MHD waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Núñez, Manuel

    2016-07-01

    The evolution of fast magnetosonic waves of high frequency propagating into an axisymmetric equilibrium plasma is studied. By using the methods of weakly nonlinear geometrical optics, it is shown that the perturbation travels in the equatorial plane while satisfying a transport equation which enables us to predict the time and location of formation of shock waves. For plasmas of large magnetic Prandtl number, this would result into the creation of sheet currents which may give rise to magnetic reconnection and destruction of the original equilibrium.

  20. Structure of current sheets in magnetic holes at 1 AU. [regions of low magnetic field intensity in the solar wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitzenreiter, R. J.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1978-01-01

    Current density profiles in several types of interplanetary magnetic holes were calculated assuming that the currents flow in planar sheets and that the magnetic field varies only in the direction normal to the sheet. The planarity was verified in four holes which were observed by two suitably spaced spacecraft. The structure of the current sheets ranges from very simple in some holes to very complex in others. The observed structures are found to be qualitatively consistent with models based on self-consistent solutions of Vlasov's equation and Maxwell's equations. Examples of complex, irregular magnetic holes are also presented, and they are shown to contain multiple, current sheets in which currents flow parallel to one another.

  1. Evidence for two separate heliospheric current sheets of cylindrical shape during MID-2012

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Y.-M.; Young, P. R.; Muglach, K. E-mail: pyoung@ssd5.nrl.navy.mil

    2014-01-01

    During the reversal of the Sun's polar fields at sunspot maximum, outward extrapolations of magnetograph measurements often predict the presence of two or more current sheets extending into the interplanetary medium, instead of the single heliospheric current sheet (HCS) that forms the basis of the standard 'ballerina skirt' picture. By comparing potential-field source-surface models of the coronal streamer belt with white-light coronagraph observations, we deduce that the HCS was split into two distinct structures with circular cross sections during mid-2012. These cylindrical current sheets were centered near the heliographic equator and separated in longitude by roughly 180°; a corresponding four-sector polarity pattern was observed at Earth. Each cylinder enclosed a negative-polarity coronal hole that was identifiable in extreme ultraviolet images and gave rise to a high-speed stream. The two current sheet systems are shown to be a result of the dominance of the Sun's nonaxisymmetric quadrupole component, as the axial dipole field was undergoing its reversal during solar cycle 24.

  2. Evidence for Two Separate Heliospheric Current Sheets of Cylindrical Shape During Mid-2012

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Y.-M.; Young, P. R.; Muglach, K.

    2013-01-01

    During the reversal of the Sun's polar fields at sunspot maximum, outward extrapolations of magnetograph measurements often predict the presence of two or more current sheets extending into the interplanetary medium, instead of the single heliospheric current sheet (HCS) that forms the basis of the standard 'ballerina skirt' picture. By comparing potential-field source-surface models of the coronal streamer belt with white-light coronagraph observations, we deduce that the HCS was split into two distinct structures with circular cross sections during mid-2012. These cylindrical current sheets were centered near the heliographic equator and separated in longitude by roughly 180 deg; a corresponding four-sector polarity pattern was observed at Earth. Each cylinder enclosed a negative-polarity coronal hole that was identifiable in extreme ultraviolet images and gave rise to a high-speed stream. The two current sheet systems are shown to be a result of the dominance of the Sun's nonaxisymmetric quadrupole component, as the axial dipole field was undergoing its reversal during solar cycle 24.

  3. Evidence for Two Separate Heliospheric Current Sheets of Cylindrical Shape During Mid-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.-M.; Young, P. R.; Muglach, K.

    2014-01-01

    During the reversal of the Sun's polar fields at sunspot maximum, outward extrapolations of magnetograph measurements often predict the presence of two or more current sheets extending into the interplanetary medium, instead of the single heliospheric current sheet (HCS) that forms the basis of the standard "ballerina skirt" picture. By comparing potential-field source-surface models of the coronal streamer belt with white-light coronagraph observations, we deduce that the HCS was split into two distinct structures with circular cross sections during mid-2012. These cylindrical current sheets were centered near the heliographic equator and separated in longitude by roughly 180° a corresponding four-sector polarity pattern was observed at Earth. Each cylinder enclosed a negative-polarity coronal hole that was identifiable in extreme ultraviolet images and gave rise to a high-speed stream. The two current sheet systems are shown to be a result of the dominance of the Sun's nonaxisymmetric quadrupole component, as the axial dipole field was undergoing its reversal during solar cycle 24.

  4. MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN THE SOLAR WIND AT CURRENT SHEETS ASSOCIATED WITH EXTREMELY SMALL FIELD SHEAR ANGLES

    SciTech Connect

    Gosling, J. T.; Phan, T. D.

    2013-02-01

    Using Wind 3 s plasma and magnetic field data, we have identified nine reconnection exhausts within a solar wind disturbance on 1998 October 18-20 driven by a moderately fast interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME). Three of the exhausts within the ICME were associated with current sheets having local field shear angles, {theta}, ranging from 4 Degree-Sign to 9 Degree-Sign , the smallest reported values of {theta} yet associated with reconnection exhausts in a space plasma. They were observed in plasma characterized by extremely low (0.02-0.04) plasma {beta}, and very high (281-383 km s{sup -1}) Alfven speed, V{sub A}. Low {beta} allows reconnection to occur at small {theta} and high V{sub A} leads to exhaust jets that are fast enough relative to the surrounding solar wind to be readily identified. Very small-{theta} current sheets are common in the solar wind at 1 AU, but typically are not associated with particularly low plasma {beta} or high V{sub A}. On the other hand, small-{theta} current sheets should be common in the lower solar corona, a plasma regime of extremely low {beta} and extremely high V{sub A}. Our observations lend credence to models that predict that reconnection at small-{theta} current sheets is primarily responsible for coronal heating.

  5. Analysis of the heliospheric current sheet at Earth's orbit and model comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lepping, R. P.; Szabo, A.; Peredo, M.; Hoeksema, T.

    1995-01-01

    IMP 8 magnetic field data for the first half of the year 1994, i.e., for about 6 solar rotations, are analyzed around regions of sector boundary crossings with the purpose of obtaining both gross- and fine-scale characteristics of the related heliospheric current sheets separating the observed sectors. For purposes of estimating the attitudes of the normals to the sector boundaries. analysis intervals (sometimes 30 min or more in length) allowing the field to fully complete an excursion of about 180 deg were used in the study, which consisted of variance analyses of the field within those intervals. The resulting boundary normals were analyzed and compared to known (generic) models of projected heliospheric current sheets and to a coronal field model for the same time period. One of the most outstanding features of the resulting ensemble of estimated boundary normals for this period is that they strongly prefer low inclinations, indicating that the observations do not support a 1 AU model that predicts a current sheet whose surface is approximately parallel with the sun's equator, such as the 'sombrero' model. They instead support a model that predicts a relatively high inclination current sheet at 1 AU. Also the normals assume a surprisingly large range of longitudes, somewhat favoring those consistent with a Parker model (45 deg and 225 deg) and/or radial alignment (0 deg and 180 deg). These boundary structures, as defined, are shown typically to be as broad as several hundred proton gyroradii, but having embedded within them very thin structures associated with stronger currents. Such thin structures have normals usually differing markedly from the gross boundary. For some crossings there are indications of a wave-like structure in the current sheet as it passed the spacecraft.

  6. Magnetoacoustic waves propagating along a dense slab and Harris current sheet and their wavelet spectra

    SciTech Connect

    Mészárosová, Hana; Karlický, Marian; Jelínek, Petr; Rybák, Ján

    2014-06-10

    Currently, there is a common endeavor to detect magnetoacoustic waves in solar flares. This paper contributes to this topic using an approach of numerical simulations. We studied a spatial and temporal evolution of impulsively generated fast and slow magnetoacoustic waves propagating along the dense slab and Harris current sheet using two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic numerical models. Wave signals computed in numerical models were used for computations of the temporal and spatial wavelet spectra for their possible comparison with those obtained from observations. It is shown that these wavelet spectra allow us to estimate basic parameters of waveguides and perturbations. It was found that the wavelet spectra of waves in the dense slab and current sheet differ in additional wavelet components that appear in association with the main tadpole structure. These additional components are new details in the wavelet spectrum of the signal. While in the dense slab this additional component is always delayed after the tadpole head, in the current sheet this component always precedes the tadpole head. It could help distinguish a type of the waveguide in observed data. We present a technique based on wavelets that separates wave structures according to their spatial scales. This technique shows not only how to separate the magnetoacoustic waves and waveguide structure in observed data, where the waveguide structure is not known, but also how propagating magnetoacoustic waves would appear in observations with limited spatial resolutions. The possibilities detecting these waves in observed data are mentioned.

  7. Electromagnetic Perturbations in the Reconnecting Current Sheet in MRX

    SciTech Connect

    Dorfman, Seth; Ji, Hantao; Yamada, MasAki; Ren Yang; Gerhardt, Stefan; Kulsrud, Russell; McGeehan, Brendan; Wang Yansong

    2006-11-30

    Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental plasma process in which magnetic field lines break and reconnect, converting magnetic field energy into particle kinetic energy. Electromagnetic fluctuations, which may play a role in fast reconnection, are studied from both an experimental and theoretical standpoint. The waves, which are in the lower hybrid range of frequencies, may be produced by a plasma instability known as the oblique lower hybrid drift instability. When the electron drift velocity is large, the theory predicts coupling between whistler and acoustic waves in the ion frame that may lead to an instability in the vicinity of the current sheet. On the experimental side, an antenna placed in the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is used to apply perturbations, and their propagation characteristics are measured. Results from a 2mm diameter antenna indicate that any induced fluctuations are confined to the current sheet and are preferentially excited in the direction of electron flow within the layer. Preliminary data from a 2cm diameter antenna shows a wave propagating in the electron flow direction at the local electron drift velocity. Thus electron drift appears to play a crucial role in the appearance of fluctuations.

  8. Current Sheet Formation, Equilibria and Heating in the Closed Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rappazzo, A. F.

    2014-12-01

    Parker model for coronal heating is investigated within theframework of reduced magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD) in cartesian geometry. A popular hypothesis is that in response to slow photospheric motionsthe magnetic field evolves quasi-statically through a seriesof unstable equilibria. Instabilities, e.g., kink modes or else,allow the release of energy while the field relaxes to a new equilibrium.On the other hand it has long been suggested that the dynamics relevant to the basic heating of coronal loops may not entaila quasi-static evolution (Parker 1972, 1994), and recently it has beenshown that the relaxation of an initial configuration out of equilibriumdevelops current sheets without accessing intermediate equilibria (Rappazzo & Parker 2013).The properties of the equilibria are therefore key in understanding thedynamics of coronal heating both in the case of low-frequency photospheric motions (DC) and for propagating waves (AC).Equilibria and nonlinear dynamics are studied numerically and theoretically,explaining why dynamics are inhibited below a critical twist, while for highervalues of the fluctuations nonlinear dynamics lead to the formation of current sheets (and magnetic reconnection in the non ideal case), whose thickness istracked with the analiticity strip method and shown to decrease at least exponentiallydown to dissipative lenght-scales on fast ideal Alfvenic timescales. The impact onthe heating of solar and stellar coronae will be discussed.

  9. Observationally constrained projections of Antarctic ice sheet instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Tamsin; Ritz, Catherine; Durand, Gael; Payne, Anthony; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lie on bedrock below sea level and may be vulnerable to a positive feedback known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica, induced by circulation of warm Circumpolar Deep Water. If this retreat is sustained the region could contribute up to 1-2 m to global mean sea level, and if triggered in other areas the potential contribution to sea level on centennial to millennial timescales could be two to three times greater. However, physically plausible projections of Antarctic MISI are challenging: numerical ice sheet models are too low in spatial resolution to resolve grounding line processes or else too computationally expensive to assess modelling uncertainties, and no dynamical models exist of the ocean-atmosphere-ice sheet system. Furthermore, previous numerical ice sheet model projections for Antarctica have not been calibrated with observations, which can reduce uncertainties. Here we estimate the probability of dynamic mass loss in the event of MISI under a medium climate scenario, assessing 16 modelling uncertainties and calibrating the projections with observed mass losses in the ASE from 1992-2011. We project losses of up to 30 cm sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2100 and 72 cm SLE by 2200 (95% credibility interval: CI). Our results are substantially lower than previous estimates. The ASE sustains substantial losses, 83% of the continental total by 2100 and 67% by 2200 (95% CI), but in other regions losses are limited by ice dynamical theory, observations, or a lack of projected triggers.

  10. FORMATION AND RECONNECTION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL CURRENT SHEETS IN THE SOLAR CORONA

    SciTech Connect

    Edmondson, J. K.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C. R.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2010-07-20

    Current-sheet formation and magnetic reconnection are believed to be the basic physical processes responsible for much of the activity observed in astrophysical plasmas, such as the Sun's corona. We investigate these processes for a magnetic configuration consisting of a uniform background field and an embedded line dipole, a topology that is expected to be ubiquitous in the corona. This magnetic system is driven by a uniform horizontal flow applied at the line-tied photosphere. Although both the initial field and the driver are translationally symmetric, the resulting evolution is calculated using a fully three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamic simulation with adaptive mesh refinement that resolves the current sheet and reconnection dynamics in detail. The advantage of our approach is that it allows us to directly apply the vast body of knowledge gained from the many studies of two-dimensional (2D) reconnection to the fully 3D case. We find that a current sheet forms in close analogy to the classic Syrovatskii 2D mechanism, but the resulting evolution is different than expected. The current sheet is globally stable, showing no evidence for a disruption or a secondary instability even for aspect ratios as high as 80:1. The global evolution generally follows the standard Sweet-Parker 2D reconnection model except for an accelerated reconnection rate at a very thin current sheet, due to the tearing instability and the formation of magnetic islands. An interesting conclusion is that despite the formation of fully 3D structures at small scales, the system remains close to 2D at global scales. We discuss the implications of our results for observations of the solar corona.

  11. Formation and Reconnection of Three-Dimensional Current Sheets in the Solar Corona

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmondson, J. K.; Antiochos, S. K.; DeVore, C. R.; Zurbuchen, T. H.

    2010-01-01

    Current-sheet formation and magnetic reconnection are believed to be the basic physical processes responsible for much of the activity observed in astrophysical plasmas, such as the Sun s corona. We investigate these processes for a magnetic configuration consisting of a uniform background field and an embedded line dipole, a topology that is expected to be ubiquitous in the corona. This magnetic system is driven by a uniform horizontal flow applied at the line-tied photosphere. Although both the initial field and the driver are translationally symmetric, the resulting evolution is calculated using a fully three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (3D MHD) simulation with adaptive mesh refinement that resolves the current sheet and reconnection dynamics in detail. The advantage of our approach is that it allows us to apply directly the vast body of knowledge gained from the many studies of 2D reconnection to the fully 3D case. We find that a current sheet forms in close analogy to the classic Syrovatskii 2D mechanism, but the resulting evolution is different than expected. The current sheet is globally stable, showing no evidence for a disruption or a secondary instability even for aspect ratios as high as 80:1. The global evolution generally follows the standard Sweet- Parker 2D reconnection model except for an accelerated reconnection rate at a very thin current sheet, due to the tearing instability and the formation of magnetic islands. An interesting conclusion is that despite the formation of fully 3D structures at small scales, the system remains close to 2D at global scales. We discuss the implications of our results for observations of the solar corona. Subject Headings: Sun: corona Sun: magnetic fields Sun: reconnection

  12. Thin Current Sheets and Associated Electron Heating in Turbulent Space Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chasapis, A.; Retinò, A.; Sahraoui, F.; Vaivads, A.; Khotyaintsev, Yu. V.; Sundkvist, D.; Greco, A.; Sorriso-Valvo, L.; Canu, P.

    2015-05-01

    Intermittent structures, such as thin current sheets, are abundant in turbulent plasmas. Numerical simulations indicate that such current sheets are important sites of energy dissipation and particle heating occurring at kinetic scales. However, direct evidence of dissipation and associated heating within current sheets is scarce. Here, we show a new statistical study of local electron heating within proton-scale current sheets by using high-resolution spacecraft data. Current sheets are detected using the Partial Variance of Increments (PVI) method which identifies regions of strong intermittency. We find that strong electron heating occurs in high PVI (>3) current sheets while no significant heating occurs in low PVI cases (<3), indicating that the former are dominant for energy dissipation. Current sheets corresponding to very high PVI (>5) show the strongest heating and most of the time are consistent with ongoing magnetic reconnection. This suggests that reconnection is important for electron heating and dissipation at kinetic scales in turbulent plasmas.

  13. The Self-Consistent Generation of Current Sheets in Astrophysical Plasma Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howes, Gregory

    2014-10-01

    In space and astrophysical plasma turbulence, it has long been recognized that dissipation occurs predominantly in intermittent current sheets, with vigorous activity in the past few years focused on obtaining observational evidence for such localized dissipation in the near-Earth solar wind. The nature of these magnetic discontinuities and their associated current sheets measured in the solar wind remains unclear--are these discontinuities due to filamentary magnetic structure in the solar wind, or do they arise dynamically from turbulent interactions? Recent analytical solution, numerical validation, and experimental verification of the nonlinear energy transfer in Alfven wave collisions, the nonlinear interactions between counterpropagating Alfven waves, has established this interaction as the fundamental building block of astrophysical plasma turbulence. Here I will present first-principles analytical calculations and supporting numerical simulations that Alfven wave collisions in the strong turbulence limit naturally produce current sheets, providing the first theoretical unification of models of plasma turbulence mediated by Alfven waves with ideas on localized dissipation in current sheets. Supported by NSF CAREER Award AGS-1054061, NSF Grant PHY-10033446, and NASA Grant NNX10AC91G.

  14. Exploring reconnection, current sheets, and dissipation in a laboratory MHD turbulence experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaffner, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) can serve as a testbed for studying MHD turbulence in a controllable laboratory setting, and in particular, explore the phenomena of reconnection, current sheets and dissipation in MHD turbulence. Plasma with turbulently fluctuating magnetic and velocity fields can be generated using a plasma gun source and launched into a flux-conserving cylindrical tunnel. No background magnetic field is applied so internal fields are allowed to evolve dynamically. Point measurements of magnetic and velocity fluctuations yield broadband power-law spectra with a steepening breakpoint indicative of the onset of a dissipation scale. The frequency range at which this steepening occurs can be correlated to the ion inertial scale of the plasma, a length which is characteristic of the size of current sheets in MHD plasmas and suggests a connection to dissipation. Observation of non-Gaussian intermittent jumps in magnetic field magnitude and angle along with measurements of ion temperature bursts suggests the presence of current sheets embedded within the turbulent plasma, and possibly even active reconnection sites. Additionally, structure function analysis coupled with appeals to fractal scaling models support the hypothesis that current sheets are associated with dissipation in this system.

  15. Formation of discontinuities and expansion waves in the outflow region of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, L. C.; Hsupeng, B. Y.; Lee, K. H.; Chao, J. K.

    2015-12-01

    The current sheets observed in the solar wind, magnetopause, and nightside plasma sheet can be asymmetric, in which the plasma densities and/or magnetic field magnitudes on the two sides of the current sheet are not equal. A hybrid code is used to simulate the 1-D Riemann problem for the generation and evolution of MHD discontinuities and expansion waves in the outflow region of magnetic reconnection in an asymmetric current sheet. In a symmetric current sheet, four types of compound structures are found: (a) RD-SS compound structure: show shock (SS) is attached to the downstream of rotational discontinuity (RD), (b) SS-RD: SS is followed by an adjacent RD, (c) SS-RD-SS: RD is trapped inside SS, and (d) switch-off slow shock (SSS). In the asymmetric current sheet, the rotational angle of magnetic field across an RD on the side with a higher plasma density is usually larger than that with a lower plasma density. In the asymmetric cases, a pure RD, a single SS, or a pure slow expansion wave (SE) may appear. When the asymmetry is further increased, RD may become absent in the low density side. For a highly asymmetric current sheet, a slow expansion wave (SE) is formed behind the SS-RD compound structure on the side with a very high plasma density.

  16. Observations from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, S. B.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, M. L.; Box, J. E.; Citterio, M.; Colgan, W. T.; Fausto, R. S.; van As, D.; Forsberg, R.; Skourup, H.; Sandberg Sørensen, L.; Kristensen, S. S.; Dall, J.; Kusk, A.; Petersen, D.

    2014-12-01

    The Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) is as an on-going effort initiated in 2007 to monitor changes in the mass budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The aim of the programme is to quantify the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet and track changes in the extent of the glaciers, ice caps and ice sheet margin. Specifically, PROMICE aims to estimate the mass loss derived from three fundamentally different sources: Surface melt water runoff from the ice sheet margin Iceberg production Mass loss of individual glaciers and ice caps surrounding the ice sheet The first is observed by a network of automatic weather stations (AWS) on the ice sheet margin measuring ice ablation as well as meteorological parameters. The second is determined by establishing a so-called 'flux gate' along the entire ice sheet margin and keeping track of the ice passing through this gate. The flux gate is obtained from airborne surveys of ice sheet surface elevation and thickness. The volume of the ice passing through the gate is derived from maps of the surface velocity of the ice sheet, produced from satellite radar. The third is investigated through regular mapping of area and elevation of the approximately 20.000 individual glaciers and ice caps in Greenland. Mapping is carried out using recent satellite imagery as well as aerial ortho-photos. Within PROMICE data sets from these activities are collected. They include observations from the network of currently about 20 AWS on the margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Airborne surveys, yielding surface elevation and ice depth along the entire margin of the Greenland ice sheet carried out in 2007 and 2011. A map of all Greenland ice masses, based on the highest detail aero-photogrammetric maps produced from mid-80's aerial photographs. Real-time data from the PROMICE AWS network is shown at the web site www.promice.org and the data is freely available for download. Data from the airborne surveys and mapping activities are

  17. Wavelet-based coherent vorticity sheet and current sheet extraction from three-dimensional homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimatsu, Katsunori; Kondo, Yuji; Schneider, Kai; Okamoto, Naoya; Hagiwara, Hiroyuki; Farge, Marie

    2009-08-01

    A method for extracting coherent vorticity sheets and current sheets out of three-dimensional homogeneous magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence is proposed, which is based on the orthogonal wavelet decomposition of the vorticity and current density fields. Thresholding the wavelet coefficients allows both fields to be split into coherent and incoherent parts. The fields to be analyzed are obtained by direct numerical simulation (DNS) of forced incompressible MHD turbulence without mean magnetic field, using a classical Fourier spectral method at a resolution of 5123. Coherent vorticity sheets and current sheets are extracted from the DNS data at a given time instant. It is found that the coherent vorticity and current density preserve both the vorticity sheets and the current sheets present in the total fields while retaining only a few percent of the degrees of freedom. The incoherent vorticity and current density are shown to be structureless and of mainly dissipative nature. The spectral distributions of kinetic and magnetic energies of the coherent fields only differ in the dissipative range, while the corresponding incoherent fields exhibit near-equipartition of energy. The probability distribution functions of total and coherent fields for both vorticity and current density coincide almost perfectly, while the incoherent fields have strongly reduced variances. Studying the energy flux confirms that the nonlinear dynamics is fully captured by the coherent fields only.

  18. On the radial force balance in the quiet time magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemyev, A. V.; Angelopoulos, V.; Runov, A.

    2016-05-01

    Using Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions spacecraft observations of the quite magnetotail current sheet within the r∈[9,35]RE region (r is the radial distance from Earth and RE is Earth's radius), we investigate the thermal plasma pressure distribution along the magnetotail. Taking advantage of flapping motions of an ensemble of current sheets at various distances, we estimate the current density magnitude jy (in GSM coordinates). Comparing the tension force jyBz (Bz is the magnetic field component) with the radial gradient of the plasma pressure demonstrates that this gradient is only a small fraction, ˜10-15%, of the Ampere force exerted on the cross-tail current, in the r > 15RE region. We also estimate the contribution of the electron temperature anisotropy to the pressure balance: in the r > 15RE region the corresponding force can balance only 10-15% of the observed tension force jyBz. Thus, we conclude that about 70% of the tension force is not balanced by the combination of isotropic radial pressure gradient or the electron anisotropy. We discuss mechanisms that could be responsible for balancing the magnetotail current sheet.

  19. A current disruption mechanism in the neutral sheet - A possible trigger for substorm expansions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lui, A. T. Y.; Mankofsky, A.; Chang, C.-L.; Papadopoulos, K.; Wu, C. S.

    1990-01-01

    A linear analysis is performed to investigate the kinetic cross-field streaming instability in the earth's magnetotail neutral sheet region. Numerical solution of the dispersion equation shows that the instability can occur under conditions expected for the neutral sheet just prior to the onset of substorm expansion. The excited waves are obliquely propagating whistlers with a mixed polarization in the lower hybrid frequency range. The ensuing turbulence of this instability can lead to a local reduction of the cross-tail current causing it to continue through the ionosphere to form a substorm current wedge. A substorm expansion onset scenario is proposed based on this instability in which the relative drift between ions and electrons is primarily due to unmagnetized ions undergoing current sheet acceleration in the presence of a cross-tail electric field. The required electric field strength is within the range of electric field values detected in the neutral sheet region during substorm intervals. The skew in local time of substorm onset location and the three conditions under which substorm onset is observed can be understood on the basis of the proposed scenario.

  20. NO EVIDENCE FOR HEATING OF THE SOLAR WIND AT STRONG CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Borovsky, Joseph E.; Denton, Michael H.

    2011-10-01

    It has been conjectured that strong current sheets are the sites of proton heating in the solar wind. For the present study, a strong current sheet is defined by a >45{sup 0} rotation of the solar-wind magnetic-field direction in 128 s. A total of 194,070 strong current sheets at 1 AU are analyzed in the 1998-2010 ACE solar-wind data set. The proton temperature, proton specific entropy, and electron temperature at each current sheet are compared with the same quantities in the plasmas adjacent to the current sheet. Statistically, the plasma at the current sheets is not hotter or of higher entropy than the plasmas just outside the current sheets. This is taken as evidence that there is no significant localized heating of the solar-wind protons or electrons at strong current sheets. Current sheets are, however, found to be more prevalent in hotter solar-wind plasma. This is because more current sheets are counted in the fast solar wind than in the slow solar wind, and the fast solar wind is hotter than the slow solar wind.

  1. The Role of Current Sheets in Solar Eruptive Events: An ISSI International Team Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, Steven T.; Poletto, Giannina

    2006-01-01

    Current sheets (CSs) are a prerequisite for magnetic reconnection. An International Space Science Institute (ISSI, of Bern, Switzerland) research team will work to empirically define current sheet properties in the solar atmosphere and their signatures in the interplanetary medium, and to understand their role in the development of solar eruptive events. The project was inspired by recently acquired ground and space based observations that reveal CS signatures at the time of flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), in the chromosphere, in the corona and in the interplanetary medium. At the same time, theoretical studies predict the formation of CSs in different models and configurations, but theories and observational results have not yet developed an interaction efficient enough to allow us to construct a unified scenario. The team will generate synergy between observers, data analysts, and theoreticians, so as to enable a significant advance in understanding of current sheet behavior and properties. A further motivation for studying CSs is related to the expected electric fields in CSs that may be the source of solar energetic particles (SEPs). The team has 14 members from Europe and the US. The first meeting is in October 2006 and the second is late in 2007.

  2. Flapping current sheet with superposed waves seen in space and on the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guoqiang; Volwerk, Martin; Nakamura, Rumi; Boakes, Peter; Zhang, Tielong; Ge, Yasong; Yoshikawa, Akimasa; Baishev, Dmitry

    2015-04-01

    A wavy current sheet event observed on 15th of October 2004 between 1235 and 1300 UT has been studied by using Cluster and ground-based magnetometer data. Waves propagating from the tail centre to the duskside flank with a period ~30 s and wavelength ~1 RE, are superimposed on a flapping current sheet, accompanied with a bursty bulk flow (BBF). Three Pi2 pulsations, with onset at ~1236, ~1251 and ~1255 UT, respectively, are observed at the Tixie (TIK) station located near the foot-points of Cluster. The mechanism creating the Pi2 (period ~40 s) onset at ~1236 UT is unclear. The second Pi2 (period ~90 s, onset at ~1251 UT) is associated with a strong field-aligned current, which has a strong transverse component of the magnetic field, observed by Cluster with a time delay ~60 s. We suggest that it is caused by bouncing Alfvén waves between the northern and southern ionosphere which transport the field-aligned current. For the third Pi2 (period ~60 s) there is almost no damping at the first three periods. They occur in conjunction with periodic field-aligned currents one-on-one with 72s delay. We suggest that it is generated by these periodic field-aligned currents. We conclude that the strong field-aligned currents generated in the plasma sheet during flapping with superimposed higher frequency waves can drive Pi2 pulsations on the ground, and periodic field-aligned currents can even control the period of the Pi2s.

  3. Flapping current sheet with superposed waves seen in space and on the ground

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G. Q.; Volwerk, M.; Nakamura, R.; Boakes, P.; Zhang, T. L.; Yoshikawa, A.; Baishev, D. G.

    2014-12-01

    A wavy current sheet event observed on 15 October 2004 between 1235 and 1300 UT has been studied by using Cluster and ground-based magnetometer data. Waves propagating from the tail center to the duskside flank with a period ~30 s and wavelength ~1 RE are superimposed on a flapping current sheet, accompanied with a bursty bulk flow. Three Pi2 pulsations, with onset at ~1236, ~1251, and ~1255 UT, respectively, are observed at the Tixie station located near the foot points of Cluster. The mechanism creating the Pi2 (period ~40 s) onset at ~1236 UT is unclear. The second Pi2 (period ~90 s, onset at ~1251 UT) is associated with a strong field-aligned current, which has a strong transverse component of the magnetic field, observed by Cluster with a time delay ~60 s. We suggest that it is caused by bouncing Alfvén waves between the northern and southern ionosphere which transport the field-aligned current. For the third Pi2 (period ~60 s) there is almost no damping at the first three periods. They occur in conjunction with periodic field-aligned currents one-on-one with 72 s delay. We suggest that it is generated by these periodic field-aligned currents. We conclude that the strong field-aligned currents generated in the plasma sheet during flapping with superimposed higher-frequency waves can drive Pi2 pulsations on the ground, and periodic field-aligned currents can even control the period of the Pi2s.

  4. The peculiarities of formation of thin current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kropotkin, Alexey; Artemyev, Anton; Malova, Helmi; Domrin, Vladimir

    We investigate the process of self-consistent thinning of magnetotail current sheet in the presence of the evolving magnetic field normal component Bz, which usually decreases during the substorm growth phase. Using PIC codes to describe plasma processes with ions becoming demagnetized and electrons being considered as the cold neutralizing background, we show that the appearance of the self-consistent electric field component inside CS can lead to the current sheet thinning and to the appearance of an extremely thin current sheet with thickness close to the ion gyroradius. Due to particle [ExB] drift during the current sheet evolution, the enhanced trapping of ions near the current sheet central plane takes place. It is shown that the density of quasi-trapped particles around current sheet at the final stage depends on both the value of the initial magnetic field normal component Bz, and the speed of the Bz decrease. If the initial magnetic field normal component is less than about 0.14 of the tangential field at the edges, the trapped plasma density near the current sheet is small. As a result, the above mentioned extremely thin current sheet is formed. In the opposite case, when the initial normal component related to the tangential field is larger than 0.14, the density of trapped particles is much higher, which produces effective thickening of the current sheet. In both cases transient (Speiser) ions are the main current carriers, but in the second case local diamagnetic currents of the trapped plasma perturb the сurrent sheet profile making it thicker. Also trapped particles can be responsible for intense negative currents at the current sheet edges. During the Bz decrease, an additional effect of ion polarization drifts in the Y direction can compete with these negative diamagnetic fields of quasi-trapped ions. Therefore the ion dynamics is probably the general mechanism which contributes to the formation of thin current sheet and its fine structure.

  5. Magnetotail Current Sheet Thinning and Magnetic Reconnection Dynamics in Global Modeling of Substorms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuznetsova, M. M.; Hesse, M.; Rastaetter, L.; Toth, G.; DeZeeuw, D. L.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2008-01-01

    Magnetotail current sheet thinning and magnetic reconnection are key elements of magnetospheric substorms. We utilized the global MHD model BATS-R-US with Adaptive Mesh Refinement developed at the University of Michigan to investigate the formation and dynamic evolution of the magnetotail thin current sheet. The BATSRUS adaptive grid structure allows resolving magnetotail regions with increased current density up to ion kinetic scales. We investigated dynamics of magnetotail current sheet thinning in response to southwards IMF turning. Gradual slow current sheet thinning during the early growth phase become exponentially fast during the last few minutes prior to nightside reconnection onset. The later stage of current sheet thinning is accompanied by earthward flows and rapid suppression of normal magnetic field component $B-z$. Current sheet thinning set the stage for near-earth magnetic reconnection. In collisionless magnetospheric plasma, the primary mechanism controlling the dissipation in the vicinity of the reconnection site is non-gyrotropic effects with spatial scales comparable with the particle Larmor radius. One of the major challenges in global MHD modeling of the magnetotail magnetic reconnection is to reproduce fast reconnection rates typically observed in smallscale kinetic simulations. Bursts of fast reconnection cause fast magnetic field reconfiguration typical for magnetospheric substorms. To incorporate nongyritropic effects in diffusion regions we developed an algorithm to search for magnetotail reconnection sites, specifically where the magnetic field components perpendicular to the local current direction approaches zero and form an X-type configuration. Spatial scales of the diffusion region and magnitude of the reconnection electric field are calculated self-consistently using MHD plasma and field parameters in the vicinity of the reconnection site. The location of the reconnection sites and spatial scales of the diffusion region are updated

  6. Analogies between Jovian magnetodisk and heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kislov, Roman; Khabarova, Olga; Malova, Helmi

    Recently due to the development of spatial missions the famous model by E. Parker [1] faced with some problems, such as the effect of magnetic flux excess and the existence of latitude component of magnetic field [2]. Thus the incomplete knowledge about large scale current system of heliospheric current sheet (HCS) motivated us to construct and investigate the self-consistent axisymmetric stationary MHD model of HCS and to compare it with earlier presented model of Jupiterian magnetodisk [3]. Both HCS and magnetodisk have inner plasma sources (i.e. the Sun in case of HCS and satellite Io in case of Jupiter); also they depend on the centrifugal force at small distances and on corotation processes. They both have strong radial component of current density, thin elongated structure etc. Thus in the frame of the MHD model we have calculated for HCS the parallel currents (analogous to Jovian Birkeland currents) and we obtained the latitude component of the magnetic field. The results of the model allowed us to explain the magnetic flux excess by the existence of the self-consistent HCS magnetic field. The decrease of radial magnetic field from the distance from the Sun as the power -5/3 obtained by numerical calculations is in good agreement with experimental data. Generally this model can be applied for the quiet period of the low solar activity when the perturbation of HCS structure named “ballerina skirt” does not play any role. References: 1. Parker E. N., Astrophys. J., V. 128, 664, pp. 664-676, 1958. 2. Khabarova O. V., Астрономический журнал, V. 90, №11, pp. 919-935, 2013. 3. Kislov R.A. et al., Bull. MSU, Physics and Astron., 2013

  7. Dynamical and Physical Properties of a Post-Coronal Mass Ejection Current Sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ko, Yuan-Kuen; Raymond, John C.; Lin, Jun; Lawrence, Gareth; Li, Jing; Fludra, Andrzej

    2003-01-01

    In the eruptive process of the Kopp-Pneuman type, the closed magnetic field is stretched by the eruption so much that it is usually believed to be " open " to infinity. Formation of the current sheet in such a configuration makes it possible for the energy in the coronal magnetic field to quickly convert into thermal and kinetic energies and cause significant observational consequences, such as growing postflare/CME loop system in the corona, separating bright flare ribbons in the chromosphere, and fast ejections of the plasma and the magnetic flux. An eruption on 2002 January 8 provides us a good opportunity to look into these observational signatures of and place constraints on the theories of eruptions. The event started with the expansion of a magnetic arcade over an active region, developed into a coronal mass ejection (CME), and left some thin streamer-like structures with successively growing loop systems beneath them. The plasma outflow and the highly ionized states of the plasma inside these streamer-like structures, as well as the growing loops beneath them, lead us to conclude that these structures are associated with a magnetic reconnection site, namely, the current sheet, of this eruptive process. We combine the data from the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer, Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment, EUV Imaging Telescope, and Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, as well is from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory Mark IV K-coronameter, to investigate the morphological and dynamical properties of this event, as well as the physical properties of the current sheet. The velocity and acceleration of the CME reached up to 1800 km/s and 1 km/sq s, respectively. The acceleration is found to occur mainly at the lower corona (<2.76 Solar Radius). The post-CME loop systems showed behaviors of both postflare loops (upward motion with decreasing speed) and soft X-ray giant arches (upward motion with constant

  8. Fermi I electron acceleration by magnetic reconnection exhausts on closely stacked current sheets near the heliopause

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czechowski, A.; Grzedzielski, S.; Strumik, M.

    2010-03-01

    Recent observations (up to 32 AU) of solar wind reconnection exhausts suggest fairly frequent occurrence of such events on current sheets associated with the ICME fronts and on the heliospheric current sheet (HCS). Comparison of relevant plasma β values and magnetic field strengths with conditions in the heliosheath indicates that reconnection may also take place in the heliosheath, especially towards the heliopause where the folds of HCS are expected to be pressed together by the slowing of solar plasma flow. We propose a Fermi I type acceleration mechanism in which particles gain energy by random collisions reconnection exhausts expanding typically with local Alfven speed. The most probable place for this process is a (several wide) region of tightly folded HCS near the nose of heliopause. The process may in particular provide the mechanism of accelerating the electrons needed for generation of 2-3 kHz heliospheric emissions.

  9. DISTRIBUTION OF PLASMOIDS IN POST-CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, L.-J.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Huang, Y.-M. E-mail: amitava@princeton.edu

    2013-07-01

    Recently, the fragmentation of a current sheet in the high-Lundquist-number regime caused by the plasmoid instability has been proposed as a possible mechanism for fast reconnection. In this work, we investigate this scenario by comparing the distribution of plasmoids obtained from Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) observational data of a coronal mass ejection event with a resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulation of a similar event. The LASCO/C2 data are analyzed using visual inspection, whereas the numerical data are analyzed using both visual inspection and a more precise topological method. Contrasting the observational data with numerical data analyzed with both methods, we identify a major limitation of the visual inspection method, due to the difficulty in resolving smaller plasmoids. This result raises questions about reports of log-normal distributions of plasmoids and other coherent features in the recent literature. Based on nonlinear scaling relations of the plasmoid instability, we infer a lower bound on the current sheet width, assuming the underlying mechanism of current sheet broadening is resistive diffusion.

  10. Ion velocity distributions in the vicinity of the current sheet in Earth's distant magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, L. A.; Paterson, W. R.; Ackerson, K. L.; Kokubun, S.; Kivelson, M. G.; Yamamoto, T.; Fairfield, D. H.

    1994-01-01

    Observations of the three-dimensional velocity distributions of positive ions and electrons have been recently gained for the first time in Earth's distant magnetotail with the Galileo and Geotail spacecraft. For this brief discussion of these exciting results the focus is on the overall character of the ion velocity distributions during substorm activity. The ion velocity distributions within and near the magnetotail current sheet are not accurately described as convecting, isotropic Maxwellians. The observed velocity distributions are characterized by at least two robust types. The first type is similar to the 'lima bean'-shaped velocity distributions that are expected from the nonadiabatic acceleration of ions which execute Speiser-type trajectories in the current sheet. The second distribution is associated with the presence of cold ion beams that presumably also arise from the acceleration of plasma mantle ions in the electric and weak magnetic fields in the current sheet. The ion velocity distributions in a magnetic field structure that is similar to that for plasmoids are also examined. Again the velocity distributions are not Maxwellian but are indicative of nonadiabatic acceleration. An example of the pressure tensor within the plasmoid-like event is also presented because it is anticipated that the off-diagonal elements are important in a description of magnetotail dynamics. Thus our concept of magnetotail dynamics must advance from the present assumption of co-moving electron and ion Maxwellian distributions into reformulations in terms of global kinematical models and nonadiabatic particle motion.

  11. Active current sheets and hot flow anomalies in Mercury's bow shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uritsky, V. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sundberg, T.; Raines, J. M.; Anderson, B. J.; Korth, H.

    2012-12-01

    Hot flow anomalies (HFAs) represent a subset of heliospheric current sheets interacting with planetary bow shocks. They are typically formed when the normal component of the motional (convective) electric field is directed toward the embedded current sheet on at least one side. The core region of an HFA contains hot and highly deflected ion flows and rather low and turbulent magnetic field. In this talk, we report the first observations of HFA-like events at Mercury. Using the data from the orbital phase of the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission, we identify a representative ensemble of active current sheets magnetically connected to Mercury's bow shock. We show that some of these events exhibit unambiguous signatures of HFAs similar to those observed at other planets, and present their key physical characteristics. Our analysis suggests that Mercury's bow shock does not only mediate the flow of supersonic solar wind plasma but also provides conditions for local particle acceleration and heating as predicted by previous numerical simulations. Together with earlier studies of HFA activity at Earth, Venus, and Saturn, our results confirm that hot flow anomalies could be a common property of planetary bow shocks.

  12. Quasi-adiabatic dynamics of ions in a bifurcated current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Kartsev, Yu. I.; Artemyev, A. V.; Malova, H. V. Zelenyi, L. M.

    2013-04-15

    The study is devoted to ion dynamics in bifurcated current sheets with a two-peak current-density distribution observed in the Earth's magnetotail and solar wind. The ion motion is described by a Hamiltonian system with two degrees of freedom. The presence of a small parameter {kappa} characterizing the ratio between the amplitudes of the normal and tangential magnetic field components allows one to separate variables into fast and slow ones and introduce the quasi-adiabatic invariant of motion I{sub z}. Conservation of this invariant makes it possible to analytically describe the dynamics of charged particles. Deviations of the particle dynamics from the quasi-adiabatic one, which are caused by the nonconservation of the quasi-adiabatic invariant, are investigated. The jump of the invariant {Delta}I{sub z} is shown to depend on the small parameter according to the power-law {Delta}I{sub z} {approx} {kappa}{sup h}, where the exponent h varies between unity and 3/4, depending on the level of current sheet bifurcation. The obtained dependence of {Delta}I{sub z} on {kappa} coincides with analytic expressions in the limiting cases of nonbifurcated and completely bifurcated current sheets.

  13. Effect of Time Dependent Bending of Current Sheets in Response to Generation of Plasma Jets and Reverse Currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Anna

    Magnetic reconnection is a basis for many impulsive phenomena in space and laboratory plasmas accompanied by effective transformation of magnetic energy. Reconnection processes usually occur in relatively thin current sheets (CSs), which separate magnetic fields of different or opposite directions. We report on recent observations of time dependent bending of CSs, which results from plasma dynamics inside the sheet. The experiments are carried out with the CS-3D laboratory device (Institute of General Physics RAS, Moscow) [1]. The CS magnetic structure with an X line provides excitation of the Hall currents and plasma acceleration from the X line to both side edges [2]. In the presence of the guide field By the Hall currents give rise to bending of the sheet: the peripheral regions located away from the X line are deflected from CS middle plane (z=0) in the opposite directions ±z [3]. We have revealed generation of reverse currents jy near the CS edges, i.e. the currents flowing in the opposite direction to the main current in the sheet [4]. There are strong grounds to believe that reverse currents are generated by the outflow plasma jets [5], accelerated inside the sheet and penetrated into the regions with strong normal magnetic field component Bz [4]. An impressive effect of sudden change in the sign of the CS bend has been disclosed recently, when analyzing distributions of plasma density [6] and current away from the X line, in the presence of the guide field By. The CS configuration suddenly becomes opposite from that observed at the initial stage, and this effect correlates well with generation of reverse currents. Consequently this effect can be related to excitation of the reverse Hall currents owing to generation of reverse currents jy in the CS. Hence it may be concluded that CSs may exhibit time dependent vertical z-displacements, and the sheet geometry depends on excitation of the Hall currents, acceleration of plasma jets and generation of reverse

  14. A current disruption mechanism in the neutral sheet for triggering substorm expansions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lui, A. T. Y.; Mankofsky, A.; Chang, C.-L.; Papadopoulos, K.; Wu, C. S.

    1989-01-01

    Two main areas were addressed in support of an effort to understand mechanism responsible for the broadband electrostatic noise (BEN) observed in the magnetotail. The first area concerns the generation of BEN in the boundary layer region of the magnetotail whereas the second area concerns the occassional presence of BEN in the neutral sheet region. For the generation of BEN in the boundary layer region, a hybrid simulation code was developed to perform reliable longtime, quiet, highly resolved simulations of field aligned electron and ion beam flow. The result of the simulation shows that broadband emissions cannot be generated by beam-plasma instability if realistic values of the ion beam parameters are used. The waves generated from beam-plasma instability are highly discrete and are of high frequencies. For the plasma sheet boundary layer condition, the wave frequencies are in the kHz range, which is incompatible with the observation that the peak power in BEN occur in the 10's of Hz range. It was found that the BEN characteristics are more consistent with lower hybrid drift instability. For the occasional presence of BEN in the neutral sheet region, a linear analysis of the kinetic cross-field streaming instability appropriate to the neutral sheet condition just prior to onset of substorm expansion was performed. By solving numerically the dispersion relation, it was found that the instability has a growth time comparable to the onset time scale of substorm onset. The excited waves have a mixed polarization in the lower hybrid frequency range. The imposed drift driving the instability corresponds to unmagnetized ions undergoing current sheet acceleration in the presence of a cross-tail electric field. The required electric field strength is in the 10 mV/m range which is well within the observed electric field values detected in the neutral sheet during substorms. This finding can potentially account for the disruption of cross-tail current and its diversion to

  15. Growth-phase thinning of the near-Earth current sheet during the CDAW 6 substorm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanny, Jeff; Mcpherron, R. L.; Russell, C. T.; Baker, D. N.; Pulkkinen, T. I.; Nishida, A.

    1994-01-01

    The thinning of the near-Earth current sheet during the growth phase of the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) 6 magnetospheric substorm is studied. The expansion onset of the substorm occurred at 1054 UT, March 22, 1979. During the growth phase, two spacecraft, International Sun Earth Explorer (ISEE) 1 and ISEE 2, were within the current sheet approximately 13 R(sub E) from the Earth and obtained simultaneous high-resolution magnetic data at two points in the current sheet. Plasma data were also provided by the ISEE spacecraft and solar wind data by IMP 8. To facilitate the analysis, the GSM magnetic field data are transformed to a 'neutral sheet coordinate system' in which the new x axis is parallel to the average magnetic field above and below the neutral sheet and the new y axis lies in the GSM equatorial plane. A model based on the assumption that the current sheet is a time-invariant structure fails to predict neutral sheet crossing times. Consequently, the Harris sheet model, which allows one to remove the restriction of time invariancy, is used instead. It is found that during the growth phase, a model parameter corresponding to the thickness of the current sheet decreased exponentially from about 5 R(sub E) to 1 R(sub E) with a time constant of about 14 min. In addition, the ISEE 1 and ISEE 2 neutral sheet crossings after expansion onset indicate that the neutral sheet was moving upward at 7 km/s relative to the spacecraft. Since both crossings occurred in approximately 80 s, the current sheet thickness is estimated to be about 500 km. These results demonstrate that the near-Earth current sheet undergoes dramatic thinning during the substorm growth phase and expansion onset.

  16. The evolution of plane current{endash}vortex sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Dahlburg, R.B.; Boncinelli, P.; Einaudi, G.

    1997-05-01

    The linear and nonlinear evolution of the plane current{endash}vortex sheet, with a basic magnetic field given by B{sub 0}(y)=tanhy{bold {cflx e}}{sub z}, and a basic velocity field given by W{sub 0}(y)=VtanhRy{bold {cflx e}}{sub z}, is examined. The discovery of an ideal instability in a large region of parameter space previously found to be stable is reported. In this paper numerical evidence is presented that this parameter regime is in fact highly unstable, with growth rates exceeding those of the modes existing in the region of parameter space previously found to be unstable. An examination of the perturbation energy balance indicates that enhanced energy transfer from the basic velocity field to the perturbed velocity and magnetic fields is responsible for the enhanced growth rate. This occurs due to processes absent from both the resistive and Kelvin{endash}Helmholtz instabilities. Nonlinearly it is found that magnetic reconnection can occur on an ideal time scale in certain cases. These faster instabilities lead to a more violent cascade of excitation in the streamwise direction, as evidenced by the rapid formation of higher harmonics of the initial disturbance. A nonlinear saturation due to increased correlation of the perturbed velocity and magnetic field occurs for all cases. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  17. Modeling the heliospheric current sheet: Solar cycle variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, Pete; Linker, J. A.; Mikić, Z.

    2002-07-01

    In this report we employ an empirically driven, three-dimensional MHD model to explore the evolution of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) during the course of the solar cycle. We compare our results with a simpler ``constant-speed'' approach for mapping the HCS outward into the solar wind to demonstrate that dynamic effects can substantially deform the HCS in the inner heliosphere (<~5 AU). We find that these deformations are most pronounced at solar minimum and become less significant at solar maximum, when interaction regions are less effective. Although solar maximum is typically associated with transient, rather than corotating, processes, we show that even under such conditions, the HCS can maintain its structure over the course of several solar rotations. While the HCS may almost always be topologically equivalent to a ``ballerina skirt,'' we discuss an interval approaching the maximum of solar cycle 23 (Carrington rotations 1960 and 1961) when the shape would be better described as ``conch shell''-like. We use Ulysses magnetic field measurements to support the model results.

  18. Current sheet oscillations in the magnetic filament approach

    SciTech Connect

    Erkaev, N. V.; Semenov, V. S.; Biernat, H. K.

    2012-06-15

    Magnetic filament approach is applied for modeling of nonlinear 'kink'-like flapping oscillations of thin magnetic flux tubes in the Earth's magnetotail current sheet. A discrete approximation for the magnetic flux tube was derived on a basis of the Hamiltonian formulation of the problem. The obtained system of ordinary differential equations was integrated by method of Rosenbrock, which is suitable for stiff equations. The two-dimensional exact Kan's solution of the Vlasov equations was used to set the background equilibrium conditions for magnetic field and plasma. Boundary conditions for the magnetic filament were found to be dependent on the ratio of the ionospheric conductivity and the Alfven conductivity of the magnetic tube. It was shown that an enhancement of this ratio leads to the corresponding increase of the frequency of the flapping oscillations. For some special case of boundary conditions, when the magnetic perturbations vanish at the boundaries, the calculated frequency of the 'kink'-like flapping oscillations is rather close to that predicted by the 'double gradient' analytical model. For others cases, the obtained frequency of the flapping oscillations is somewhat larger than that from the 'double gradient' theory. The frequency of the nonlinear flapping oscillations was found to be a decreasing function of the amplitude.

  19. Characteristics of a current sheet shear mode in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Keizo

    2016-05-01

    The current study shows the characteristics of the kink-type electromagnetic mode excited in the thin current layer formed around the x-line during the quasi-steady phase of magnetic reconnection. The linear wave analyses are carried out for the realistic current sheet profile which differs significantly from the Harris current sheet. It is found that the peak growth rate is very sensitive to the current sheet width even though the relative drift velocity at the center of the current sheet is fixed. This indicates that the mode is excited by the velocity shear rather than the relative drift velocity. Thus, the mode is termed here a current sheet shear mode. It is also shown that the wavenumber ky has a clear mass ratio dependency as ky λi ∝ (mi /me )1/4, implying the coupling of the ion and electron dynamics, where λi is the ion inertia length.

  20. Conditions for the formation of nongyrotropic current sheets in slowly evolving plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schindler, Karl; Hesse, Michael

    2010-08-01

    This paper addresses the formation of nongyrotropic current sheets resulting from slow external driving. The medium is a collisionless plasma with one spatial dimension and a three-dimensional velocity space. The study is based on particle simulation and an analytical approach. Earlier results that apply to compression of an initial Harris sheet are generalized in several ways. In a first step a general sufficient criterion for the presence of extra ion and electron currents due to nongyrotropic plasma conditions is derived. Then cases with antisymmetric magnetic and electric fields are considered. After establishing consistency of the criterion with the earlier case, the usefulness of this concept is illustrated in detail by two further particle simulations. The results indicate that the formation of nongyrotropic current sheets is a ubiquitous phenomenon for plasmas with antisymmetric fields that have evolved slowly from initial gyrotropic states. A fourth case concerns a plasma with a unidirectional magnetic field. Consistent with the general criterion, the observed final state is fluidlike in that it is approximately gyrotropic. Momentum balance is shown to include a contribution that results from accumulation of an off-diagonal pressure tensor component during the evolution. Heat flux also plays an important role.

  1. Kinetic model of force-free current sheets with non-uniform temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Kolotkov, D. Y.; Nakariakov, V. M.; Vasko, I. Y.

    2015-11-15

    The kinetic model of a one-dimensional force-free current sheet (CS) developed recently by Harrison and Neukirch [Phys. Rev. Lett. 102(13), 135003 (2009)] predicts uniform distributions of the plasma temperature and density across the CS. However, in realistic physical systems, inhomogeneities of these plasma parameters may arise quite naturally due to the boundary conditions or local plasma heating. Moreover, as the CS spatial scale becomes larger than the characteristic kinetic scales (the regime often referred to as the MHD limit), it should be possible to set arbitrary density and temperature profiles. Thus, an advanced model has to allow for inhomogeneities of the macroscopic plasma parameters across the CS, to be consistent with the MHD limit. In this paper, we generalise the kinetic model of a force-free current sheet, taking into account the inhomogeneity of the density and temperature across the CS. In the developed model, the density may either be enhanced or depleted in the CS central region. The temperature profile is prescribed by the density profile, keeping the plasma pressure uniform across the CS. All macroscopic parameters, as well as the distribution functions for the protons and electrons, are determined analytically. Applications of the developed model to current sheets observed in space plasmas are discussed.

  2. Three-Dimensional MHD Simulation of Current Sheet Evolution During the Growth Phase of Magnetospheric Substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, F.; Otto, A.

    2004-12-01

    Current sheet thinning in the near-Earth magnetotail is an important element of growth phase dynamics since it determines the conditions for substorm onset. The growth phase is initiated by the erosion of closed dayside magnetic flux. This flux is replenished by convection of closed magnetic flux from the near-Earth tail region to the dayside. However, this process of magnetic flux replenishment is subject to the entropy and mass conservation constraints imposed on the slow quasi-static convection of magnetic flux tubes from the mid- and far-tail regions, first identified by Erickson and Wolf (1980). We examine whether the depletion of flux from a finite reservoir in the near-Earth tail region leads to the observed current sheet thinning. This hypothesis is tested using a self-consistent three-dimensional MHD code which is coupled to a semi-empirical magnetic field model. The resulting system was relaxed to an equilibrium state using a modification of a `ballistic relaxation' method. We discuss the structure of the equilibrium near-Earth magnetotail. A plasma outflow is prescribed in the near-Earth magnetotail to model the depletion of the `flux reservoir' described above. The resulting evolution of the current sheet is discussed.

  3. Observations of plasma sheet expansion at substorm onset, R = 15 to 22 Re

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyons, L. R.; Huang, C. Y.

    1992-01-01

    We have used a large number of auroral magnetograms to identify four isolated substorms and estimate their onset times. At the onsets, ISEE-1 was in the vicinity of magnetic midnight at radial distances of 15.6 to 21.8 Re and very near the outer boundary of the plasma sheet. We find that, for each event, the plasma sheet expanded, and the magnetic field dipolarized at the inferred onset time. Our most definitive event occurred while ISEE was at a geocentric radial distance of 21.8 Re. This result conflicts with previous understanding, though further verification of the result is required. Our observations show very similar characteristics to those observed at synchronous orbit, and they are consistent with an extension of a portion of the substorm current wedge to the radial distance of the satellite. If this explanation is correct, ISEE must have been within the longitude range of the substorm current wedge at the onsets.

  4. MODELING THE SUN'S OPEN MAGNETIC FLUX AND THE HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, J.; Cameron, R.; Schmitt, D.; Schuessler, M.

    2010-01-20

    By coupling a solar surface flux transport model with an extrapolation of the heliospheric field, we simulate the evolution of the Sun's open magnetic flux and the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) based on observational data of sunspot groups since 1976. The results are consistent with measurements of the interplanetary magnetic field near Earth and with the tilt angle of the HCS as derived from extrapolation of the observed solar surface field. This opens the possibility for an improved reconstruction of the Sun's open flux and the HCS into the past on the basis of empirical sunspot data.

  5. Current sheet Formation in a Conical Theta Pinch Faraday Accelerator with Radio-Frequency Assisted Discharge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hallock, Ashley K.; Choueiri, Edgar Y.; Polzin, Kurt A.

    2007-01-01

    The inductive formation of current sheets in a conical theta pinch FARAD (Faraday Accelerator with Radio-frequency Assisted Discharge) thruster is investigated experimentally with time-integrated photography. The goal is to help in understanding the mechanisms and conditions controlling the strength and extent of the current sheet, which are two indices important for FARAD as a propulsion concept. The profiles of these two indices along the inside walls of the conical acceleration coil are assumed to be related to the profiles of the strength and extent of the luminosity pattern derived from photographs of the discharge. The variations of these profiles as a function of uniform back-fill neutral pressure (with no background magnetic field and all parameters held constant) provided the first clues on the nature and qualitative dependencies of current sheet formation. It was found that there is an optimal pressure for which both indices reach a maximum and that the rate of change in these indices with pressure differs on either side of this optimal pressure. This allowed the inference that current sheet formation follows a Townsend-like breakdown mechanism modified by the existence of a finite pressure-dependent radio-frequency-generated electron density background. The observation that the effective location of the luminosity pattern favors the exit-half of the conical coil is explained as the result of the tendency of the inductive discharge circuit to operate near its minimal self-inductance. Movement of the peak in the luminosity pattern towards the upstream side of the cone with increasing pressure is believed to result from the need of the circuit to compensate for the increase in background plasma resistivity due to increasing pressure.

  6. Lunar dayside plasma sheet depletion - Inference from magnetic observations. [lunar immersion in geomagnetic tail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, G.; Lichtenstein, B. R.; Russell, C. T.; Coleman, P. J., Jr.; Smith, B. F.; Colburn, D. S.; Sonett, C. P.

    1974-01-01

    The existence of a day-side lunar cavity in the plasma sheet, showing some depletion of plasma, has been inferred from cavity-associated magnetic characteristics observed by orbital and surface lunar magnetometers. These characteristics include a day-side enhancement in the mean magnetic field and day-side levels of amplification of eddy current induced magnetic field fluctuations typical of cavity confinement.

  7. Statistical Analysis of Current Sheets in Three-dimensional Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhdankin, Vladimir; Uzdensky, Dmitri A.; Perez, Jean C.; Boldyrev, Stanislav

    2013-07-01

    We develop a framework for studying the statistical properties of current sheets in numerical simulations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence with a strong guide field, as modeled by reduced MHD. We describe an algorithm that identifies current sheets in a simulation snapshot and then determines their geometrical properties (including length, width, and thickness) and intensities (peak current density and total energy dissipation rate). We then apply this procedure to simulations of reduced MHD and perform a statistical analysis on the obtained population of current sheets. We evaluate the role of reconnection by separately studying the populations of current sheets which contain magnetic X-points and those which do not. We find that the statistical properties of the two populations are different in general. We compare the scaling of these properties to phenomenological predictions obtained for the inertial range of MHD turbulence. Finally, we test whether the reconnecting current sheets are consistent with the Sweet-Parker model.

  8. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in a current-vortex sheet at a 3D magnetic null

    SciTech Connect

    Wyper, P. F.; Pontin, D. I.

    2013-03-15

    We report here, for the first time, an observed instability of a Kelvin-Helmholtz nature occurring in a fully three-dimensional (3D) current-vortex sheet at the fan plane of a 3D magnetic null point. The current-vortex layer forms self-consistently in response to foot point driving around the spine lines of the null. The layer first becomes unstable at an intermediate distance from the null point, with the instability being characterized by a rippling of the fan surface and a filamentation of the current density and vorticity in the shear layer. Owing to the 3D geometry of the shear layer, a branching of the current filaments and vortices is observed. The instability results in a mixing of plasma between the two topologically distinct regions of magnetic flux on either side of the fan separatrix surface, as flux is reconnected across this surface. We make a preliminary investigation of the scaling of the system with the dissipation parameters. Our results indicate that the fan plane separatrix surface is an ideal candidate for the formation of current-vortex sheets in complex magnetic fields and, therefore, the enhanced heating and connectivity change associated with the instabilities of such layers.

  9. The influence of the heliospheric current sheet and angular separation on flare-accelerated solar wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henning, H. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1985-01-01

    A complete set of major flares was used to investigate the effect of the heliospheric current sheet on the magnitude of the flare associated disturbance measured at earth. It was also found that the angular separation tended to result in a smaller disturbance. Thirdly, it was determined that flares tend to occur near the heliospheric current sheet.

  10. The influence of the heliospheric current sheet and angular separation on flare accelerated solar wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henning, H. M.; Scherrer, P. H.; Hoeksema, J. T.

    1985-01-01

    A complete set of major flares was used to investigate the effect of the heliospheric current sheet on the magnitude of the flare associated disturbance measured at Earth. It was also found that the angular separation tended to result in a smaller disturbance. Thirdly, it was determined that flares tend to occur near the heliospheric current sheet.

  11. On the contribution of plasma sheet bubbles to the storm time ring current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jian; Toffoletto, Frank R.; Wolf, Richard A.; Sazykin, Stanislav

    2015-09-01

    Particle injections occur frequently inside 10 Re during geomagnetic storms. They are commonly associated with bursty bulk flows or plasma sheet bubbles transported from the tail to the inner magnetosphere. Although observations and theoretical arguments have suggested that they may have an important role in storm time dynamics, this assertion has not been addressed quantitatively. In this paper, we investigate which process is dominant for the storm time ring current buildup: large-scale enhanced convection or localized bubble injections. We use the Rice Convection Model-Equilibrium (RCM-E) to model a series of idealized storm main phases. The boundary conditions at 14-15 Re on the nightside are adjusted to randomly inject bubbles to a degree roughly consistent with observed statistical properties. A test particle tracing technique is then used to identify the source of the ring current plasma. We find that the contribution of plasma sheet bubbles to the ring current energy increases from ~20% for weak storms to ~50% for moderate storms and levels off at ~61% for intense storms, while the contribution of trapped particles decreases from ~60% for weak storms to ~30% for moderate and ~21% for intense storms. The contribution of nonbubble plasma sheet flux tubes remains ~20% on average regardless of the storm intensity. Consistent with previous RCM and RCM-E simulations, our results show that the mechanisms for plasma sheet bubbles enhancing the ring current energy are (1) the deep penetration of bubbles and (2) the bulk plasma pushed ahead of bubbles. Both the bubbles and the plasma pushed ahead typically contain larger distribution functions than those in the inner magnetosphere at quiet times. An integrated effect of those individual bubble injections is the gradual enhancement of the storm time ring current. We also make two predictions testable against observations. First, fluctuations over a time scale of 5-20 min in the plasma distributions and electric field

  12. Transient, small-scale field-aligned currents in the plasma sheet boundary layer during storm time substorms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, R.; Sergeev, V. A.; Baumjohann, W.; Plaschke, F.; Magnes, W.; Fischer, D.; Varsani, A.; Schmid, D.; Nakamura, T. K. M.; Russell, C. T.; Strangeway, R. J.; Leinweber, H. K.; Le, G.; Bromund, K. R.; Pollock, C. J.; Giles, B. L.; Dorelli, J. C.; Gershman, D. J.; Paterson, W.; Avanov, L. A.; Fuselier, S. A.; Genestreti, K.; Burch, J. L.; Torbert, R. B.; Chutter, M.; Argall, M. R.; Anderson, B. J.; Lindqvist, P.-A.; Marklund, G. T.; Khotyaintsev, Y. V.; Mauk, B. H.; Cohen, I. J.; Baker, D. N.; Jaynes, A. N.; Ergun, R. E.; Singer, H. J.; Slavin, J. A.; Kepko, E. L.; Moore, T. E.; Lavraud, B.; Coffey, V.; Saito, Y.

    2016-05-01

    We report on field-aligned current observations by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft near the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) during two major substorms on 23 June 2015. Small-scale field-aligned currents were found embedded in fluctuating PSBL flux tubes near the separatrix region. We resolve, for the first time, short-lived earthward (downward) intense field-aligned current sheets with thicknesses of a few tens of kilometers, which are well below the ion scale, on flux tubes moving equatorward/earthward during outward plasma sheet expansion. They coincide with upward field-aligned electron beams with energies of a few hundred eV. These electrons are most likely due to acceleration associated with a reconnection jet or high-energy ion beam-produced disturbances. The observations highlight coupling of multiscale processes in PSBL as a consequence of magnetotail reconnection.

  13. Electromagnetic fluctuations due to current sheet instabilities in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg; Munoz Sepulveda, Patricio Alejandro

    2016-07-01

    In collisionless magnetic reconnection, dissipation region, where frozen-in condition of magnetic field breaks down, develops two scale structure, viz., electron current sheets embedded inside ion current sheets. Instabilities of these current sheets lead to the development of electromagnetic turbulence which can cause anomalous dissipation enhancing the reconnection rate. Laboratory experiments, e.g., Magnetic Reconnection Experiment and VINETA-II have measured fluctuations in electron current sheets in the lower hybrid frequency range. We present simulations of the electromagnetic turbulence generated by current sheet instabilities. The characteristic features of the electromagnetic turbulence, which can be used to identify the unstable modes responsible for the turbulence, will be studied. The results will be compared with the laboratory experiments.

  14. The Venus ionopause current sheet - Thickness length scale and controlling factors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Russell, C. T.; Luhmann, J. G.; Scarf, F. L.; Brace, L. H.

    1981-01-01

    Data from the fluxgate magnetometer, plasma wave experiment and Langmuir probe aboard Pioneer Venus are used to investigate the characteristic thickness length scale of the ionopause current sheet, as well as how this length scale is controlled. Thickness is found to be a bistatic quality, large scales being associated with high field strengths and current sheet altitudes below 300 km, while smaller scales are found with lower field strengths and ionopause altitudes above 300 km. Ion collisions and plasma wave activity contribute to the formation of the broader, low-altitude ionopause current sheets. Although evidence suggests that the wave activity influences the thin ionopause current sheets, a simple model points to the control of the thin ionopause current sheets by ionospheric ion and electron temperatures

  15. Numerical simulation of three-dimensional reconnection due to the instability of collisionless current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Büchner, J.; Kuska, J.-P.

    1997-01-01

    Based on analytical calculations we have currently argued that spontaneous reconnection through thin collisionless current sheets is an essentially three-dimensional (3 D) process (Büchner, 1996 a, b). Since 3 D kinetic PIC codes have become available, the three dimensional nature of the collisionless current sheet decay are now illustrated by numerical simulations (Büchner and Kuska, 1996; Pritchett and Coroniti, 1996; Zhu and Winglee, 1996). While the latter two claim a coupling to a longer wavelength kink mode as a main factor, destabilizing thin current sheets in 3 D, our simulations have revealed that even shorter scale perturbations in the current direction suffice to destabilize thin sheets very quickly. Since past simulation runs, however, were limited to mass ratios near unity, the influence of the electrons was not treated adequately. We have now investigated the stability of thin collisionless current sheets including 64 times lighter negatively charged particles. We can now show that while the two-dimensional tearing instability slows down for M = M_p/m_e = 64, the three-dimensional current sheet decay is a much faster process - practically as fast as the mass ratio M = 1 3 D sheet decay, even without kinking the sheet. We further conclude that, unlike the two-dimensional tearing instability, the three-dimensional decay of thin current sheets is not controlled by the electrons. For a sheet width comparable with the ion inertial length, we also recovered signatures of the Hall effect as predicted by Vasyliunas (1975) in the mass ratio M = 64 case. The ion inertial length seems to be the critical scale at which the sheet starts to decay.

  16. Role of Plasma Sheet Source Population in Ring Current Dynamics (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordanova, V.; Yu, Y.; Reeves, G. D.; Kletzing, C.; Spence, H.; Sazykin, S. Y.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the dynamics of ring current particles during disturbed conditions remains a long-standing challenge, moreover these particles represent a seed population for the hazardous radiation belts. The formation of the storm-time ring current depends on two main factors: 1) the plasma sheet as a reservoir supplying particles that are transported earthward, and 2) the electric field as a mechanism that energizes them. To investigate ring current development on a global scale, we use our four-dimensional (4-D) ring current-atmosphere interactions model (RAM-SCB) [Jordanova et al., 2010; Zaharia et al., 2010] which solves the kinetic equation for H+, O+, and He+ ions and electrons using a self-consistently calculated magnetic field in force balance with the anisotropic ring current plasma pressure. The model boundary was recently expanded from geosynchronous orbit to 9 RE, where the plasma boundary conditions are specified from the empirical plasma sheet model TM03 [Tsyganenko and Mukai, 2003] based on Geotail data. We simulate the transport, acceleration, and loss of energetic particles from the magnetotail to the inner magnetosphere during several geomagnetic storms that occurred since the launch of the Van Allen Probes in August 2012. We compare our results with simultaneous plasma and field observations from the Energetic particle, Composition, and Thermal plasma (ECT) [Spence et al., 2013] and the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS) [Kletzing et al., 2013] investigations on the Van Allen Probes. We investigate the role of the plasma sheet source population in global ring current simulations considering various boundary conditions and electric field formulations. An improved understanding of the highly coupled inner magnetosphere system is provided.

  17. WORLD SURFACE CURRENTS FROM SHIP'S DRIFT OBSERVATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, C.P.; Schladow, S.G.

    1980-11-01

    Over 4 million observations of ship's drift are on file at the U.S. National Oceanographic Data Centre, in Washington, D. C., representing a vast amount of information on ocean surface currents. The observed drift speeds are dependent on the frequency of occurence of the particular current speeds and the frequency of observation. By comparing frequency of observation with the drift speeds observed it is possible to confirm known current patterns and detect singularities in surface currents.

  18. Two-fluid numerical simulations of turbulence inside Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices: Intermittency and reconnecting current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, C.; Califano, F.; Retinò, A.; Sorriso-Valvo, L.; Henri, P.; Servidio, S.; Valentini, F.; Chasapis, A.; Rezeau, L.

    2015-12-01

    The turbulence developing inside Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices has been studied using a two-fluid numerical simulation. From an initial large-scale velocity shear, the nonlinear evolution of the instability leads to the formation of a region inside the initial vortex characterized by small-scale fluctuations and structures. The magnetic energy spectrum is compatible with a Kolmogorov-like power-law decay, followed by a steeper power-law below proton scales, in agreement with other studies. The magnetic field increments show non-Gaussian distributions with increasing tails going towards smaller scales, consistent with presence of intermittency. The strong magnetic field fluctuations populating the tails of the distributions have been identified as current sheets by using the Partial Variance of the Increments (PVI) method. The strongest current sheets (largest PVI) appear around proton scales and below. By selecting several of such current sheets, it has been found that most of them are consistent with ongoing magnetic reconnection. The detailed study of one reconnecting current sheet as crossed by a virtual spacecraft is also presented. Inflow and outflow regions have been identified and the reconnection rate has been estimated. The observation of reconnection rates higher than typical fast rate ˜0.1 suggests that reconnection in turbulent plasma can be faster than laminar reconnection. This study indicates that intermittency and reconnecting current sheets are important ingredients of turbulence within Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices and that reconnection can play an important role for energy dissipation therein.

  19. Magnetic reconnection at the solar wind current sheets as a possible cause of strahl electrons acceleration and SEP dropouts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khabarova, O.; Zharkova, V. V.

    2014-12-01

    According to the shape of the electron velocity distribution function, there are two populations of suprathermal electrons: halo and strahls (beams). The halo electrons are omni-directional, and strahls are magnetic field aligned beams of electrons that predominantly move in the anti-sunward direction. Properties of strahls represent a great interest, because this population is most energetic, but its origination is still unclear. Usually, it is supposed that strahls is a focused part of halo electrons, non-scattered during their propagation from the Sun. We demonstrate a possibility to better understand nature of strahls if to suggest their acceleration directly in the solar wind due to a magnetic reconnection, occurring at current sheets. We use results of our PIC-simulation of particles behaviour at reconnecting current sheets (Zharkova, Khabarova, ApJ, 2012) in order to explain such effects as:- mismatches between a position of suprathermal electrons pitch-angle changes and real crossing of the heliospheric current sheet,- correlation between heat flux/solar energetic particles dropouts and high plasma beta,- occurrence of counterstreaming electrons at the ICME front and at corotating shocks at r > 2 AU,- radial evolution of strahls/halo density.Multi-spacecraft observations (STEREO, ACE, Ulysses) of properties of suprathermal electrons attributed to crossings of the heliospheric current sheet as well as smaller-scale current sheets during SEP events and CME-CIR interactions will be discussed.

  20. Formation of a very thin current sheet in the near-earth magnetotail and the explosive growth phase of substorms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, L. C.; Zhang, L.; Choe, G. S.; Cai, H. J.

    1995-01-01

    A magnetofricional method is used to construct two-dimensional MHD equilibria of the Earth's magnetosphere for a given distribution of entropy functions(S = pV(exp gamma), where p is the plasma pressure and V is the tube volume per unit magnetic flux. It is found that a very thin current sheet with B (sub zeta) is less than 0.5 nu T and thickness less than 1000 km can be formed in the near-earth magnetotail (x is approximately -8 to -20R(sub e) during the growth phase of substorm. The tail current sheets are found to become thinner as the entropy or the entropy gradient increases. It is suggested that the new entropy anti-diffusion instability associated with plasma transport across field lines leads to magnetic field dipolarization and accelerates the formation of thin current sheet, which may explain the observed explosive growth phase of substorms.

  1. PARTICLE DYNAMICS IN THE RECONNECTING HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET: SOLAR WIND DATA VERSUS THREE-DIMENSIONAL PARTICLE-IN-CELL SIMULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Zharkova, Valentina V.; Khabarova, Olga V. E-mail: habarova@izmiran.ru

    2012-06-10

    In this paper, we apply an assumption of the reconnecting heliospheric current sheet (HCS) for explanation of some contradictory results in the experimental detection of the sector boundaries (SBs) from the interplanetary magnetic field and electron pitch-angle measurements. Trajectories, densities, velocity, and pitch-angle distributions of particles accelerated by a super-Dreicer electric field are investigated with 2.5D full kinetic particle-in-cell approach in the HCS assumed to undergo a slow magnetic reconnection process with magnetic field configurations deduced from the solar wind observations. This approach reveals that during motion in a current sheet both kinds of particles, electrons and protons, are to be separated, either fully or partially, with respect to its midplane that can lead to their ejection to the opposite semiplanes that was also observed during the HCS crossings. This separation is found to form Hall's currents and polarization electric field across the current sheet, which distribution over the current sheets allows us to reproduce the magnitudes and temporal profiles of proton and ion velocities measured across the SB (current sheet midplane). This separation process, in turn, divides both kinds of particles on 'transit' and 'bounced' ones depending on a side of the current sheet where they enter it and where they are supposed to be ejected. The transit and bounced protons reproduce rather closely the measured distributions of proton/ion densities about the current sheet midplane with a larger maximum occurring at the heliospheric SB to be formed by the bounced protons and the other two smaller maximums on both sides from the central one to be formed by 'transit' protons. The observed electron distributions of density and energy before and after sector boundary crossings are found to fit the simulated ones for electrons accelerated in a current sheet revealing a sharp increase of density from one side from the HCS boundary and a

  2. Nonlinear evolution of three-dimensional instabilities of thin and thick electron scale current sheets: Plasmoid formation and current filamentation

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg

    2014-07-15

    Nonlinear evolution of three dimensional electron shear flow instabilities of an electron current sheet (ECS) is studied using electron-magnetohydrodynamic simulations. The dependence of the evolution on current sheet thickness is examined. For thin current sheets (half thickness =d{sub e}=c/ω{sub pe}), tearing mode instability dominates. In its nonlinear evolution, it leads to the formation of oblique current channels. Magnetic field lines form 3-D magnetic spirals. Even in the absence of initial guide field, the out-of-reconnection-plane magnetic field generated by the tearing instability itself may play the role of guide field in the growth of secondary finite-guide-field instabilities. For thicker current sheets (half thickness ∼5 d{sub e}), both tearing and non-tearing modes grow. Due to the non-tearing mode, current sheet becomes corrugated in the beginning of the evolution. In this case, tearing mode lets the magnetic field reconnect in the corrugated ECS. Later thick ECS develops filamentary structures and turbulence in which reconnection occurs. This evolution of thick ECS provides an example of reconnection in self-generated turbulence. The power spectra for both the thin and thick current sheets are anisotropic with respect to the electron flow direction. The cascade towards shorter scales occurs preferentially in the direction perpendicular to the electron flow.

  3. On the role of topological complexity in spontaneous development of current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Sanjay; Bhattacharyya, R.; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2015-08-15

    The computations presented in this work aim to asses the importance of field line interlacing on spontaneous development of current sheets. From Parker's magnetostatic theorem, such development of current sheets is inevitable in a topologically complex magnetofluid, with infinite electrical conductivity, at equilibrium. Relevant initial value problems are constructed by superposition of two untwisted component fields, each component field being represented by a pair of global magnetic flux surface. The intensity of field line interlacing is then specified by the relative amplitude of the two superposed fields. The computations are performed by varying this relative amplitude. Also to have a direct visualization of current sheet formation, we follow the evolution of flux surfaces instead of the vector magnetic field. An important finding of this paper is in the demonstration that initial field lines having intense interlacing tend to develop current sheets which are distributed throughout the computational domain with no preference for topologically favorable sites like magnetic nulls or field reversal layers. The onsets of these current sheets are attributed to favorable contortions of magnetic flux surfaces where two oppositely directed parts of the same field line or different field lines come to close proximity. However, for less intensely interlaced field lines, the simulations indicate development of current sheets at sites only where the magnetic topology is favorable. These current sheets originate as two sets of anti-parallel complimentary field lines press onto each other.

  4. On the role of topological complexity in spontaneous development of current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Sanjay; Bhattacharyya, R.; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2015-08-01

    The computations presented in this work aim to asses the importance of field line interlacing on spontaneous development of current sheets. From Parker's magnetostatic theorem, such development of current sheets is inevitable in a topologically complex magnetofluid, with infinite electrical conductivity, at equilibrium. Relevant initial value problems are constructed by superposition of two untwisted component fields, each component field being represented by a pair of global magnetic flux surface. The intensity of field line interlacing is then specified by the relative amplitude of the two superposed fields. The computations are performed by varying this relative amplitude. Also to have a direct visualization of current sheet formation, we follow the evolution of flux surfaces instead of the vector magnetic field. An important finding of this paper is in the demonstration that initial field lines having intense interlacing tend to develop current sheets which are distributed throughout the computational domain with no preference for topologically favorable sites like magnetic nulls or field reversal layers. The onsets of these current sheets are attributed to favorable contortions of magnetic flux surfaces where two oppositely directed parts of the same field line or different field lines come to close proximity. However, for less intensely interlaced field lines, the simulations indicate development of current sheets at sites only where the magnetic topology is favorable. These current sheets originate as two sets of anti-parallel complimentary field lines press onto each other.

  5. Current and future darkening of the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tedesco, Marco; Stroeve, Julienne; Fettweis, Xavier; Warren, Stephen; Doherty, Sarah; Noble, Erik; Alexander, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    Surface melting over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) promotes snow grains growth, reducing albedo and further enhancing melting through the increased amount of absorbed solar radiation. Using a combination of remote sensing data and outputs of a regional climate model, we show that albedo over the GIS decreased significantly from 1996 to 2012. Further, we show that most of this darkening can be accounted for by enhanced snow grain growth and the expansion of areas where bare ice is exposed, both of which are driven by increases in snow warming. An analysis of the impact of light-absorbing impurities on albedo trends detected from spaceborne measurements was inconclusive because the estimated impact for concentrations of impurities of order of magnitude found in Greenland is within the albedo uncertainty retrievable from space-based instruments. However, neither models nor observations show an increase in pollutants (black carbon and associated organics) in the atmosphere over the GIS in this time period. Additionally, we could not identify trends in the number of fires over North America and Russia, assumed to be among the sources of soot for Greenland. We did find that a 'dark band' of tilted ice plays a crucial role in decreasing albedo along the west margin, and there is some indication that dust deposition to the GIS may be decreasing albedo in this region but this is not conclusive. In addition to looking at the direct impact of impurities on albedo, we estimated the impact of impurities on albedo via their influence on grain growth and found it is relatively small (~ 1- 2 %), though more sophisticated analysis needs to be carried out. Projections obtained under different warming scenarios consistently point to a continued darkening, with anomalies in albedo driven solely by the effects of climate warming of as much as -0.12 along the west margin of the GIS by the end of this century (with respect to year 2000). Projected darkening is likely underestimated

  6. Macroscale coherence of the heliospheric current sheet: Pioneers 10 and 11 comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siscoe, George; Intriligator, Devrie

    1994-01-01

    We use the near radial alignments of Pioneers 10 and 11 during 1974 to study the macroscale geometry of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS). The interval of near alignment gave eight analyzable cases of encounters of both spacecraft with the same HCS and one case in which the IMP and Pioneer 11 spacecraft, while nearly radially aligned, encountered the same current sheet. The degree of macroscale coherence of the HCS was judged by comparing observed solar wind speeds against solar wind speeds calculated on the bases of HCS encounter times and ideal Parker spiral geometry. The correlation coefficient between the two sets of speeds is 0.53. The difference between the calculated and observed speeds can be understood in terms of observed deviations from ideal spiral geometry in the ecliptic plane or in terms of typical corrections to the calculations from small latitudinal factors. One case, however, defies explanation in these terms. This range of behavior demonstrates that the HCS is a useful probe of heliospheric dynamics.

  7. Active current sheets and candidate hot flow anomalies upstream of Mercury's bow shock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uritsky, V. M.; Slavin, J. A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Sundberg, T.; Raines, J. M.; Gershman, D. J.; Collinson, G.; Sibeck, D.; Khazanov, G. V.; Anderson, B. J.; Korth, H.

    2014-02-01

    Hot flow anomalies (HFAs) represent a subset of solar wind discontinuities interacting with collisionless bow shocks. They are typically formed when the normal component of the motional (convective) electric field points toward the embedded current sheet on at least one of its sides. The core region of an HFA contains hot and highly deflected ion flows and rather low and turbulent magnetic field. In this paper, we report observations of possible HFA-like events at Mercury identified over a course of two planetary years. Using data from the orbital phase of the MESSENGER mission, we identify a representative ensemble of active current sheets magnetically connected to Mercury's bow shock. We show that some of these events exhibit magnetic and particle signatures of HFAs similar to those observed at other planets, and present their key physical characteristics. Our analysis suggests that Mercury's bow shock does not only mediate the flow of supersonic solar wind plasma but also provides conditions for local particle acceleration and heating as predicted by previous numerical simulations. Together with earlier observations of HFA activity at Earth, Venus, Mars, and Saturn, our results confirm that hot flow anomalies could be a common property of planetary bow shocks and show that the characteristic size of these events is controlled by the bow shock standoff distance and/or local solar wind conditions.

  8. Differential measurement of cosmic-ray gradient with respect to interplanetary current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christon, S. P.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1985-01-01

    Simultaneous magnetic field and charged particle measurements from the Voyager spacecraft at heliographic latitude separations from 10 deg. to 21 deg. are used to determine the latitude gradient of the galactic cosmic ray flux with respect to the interplanetary current sheet. By comparing the ratio of cosmic ray flux at Voyager 1 to that a Voyager 2 during periods when both spacecraft are first nort and then south of the interplanetary current sheet, we find an estimate of the latitudinal gradient with respect to the current sheet of approximately -0.15 + or 0.05% deg under restricted interplanetary conditions.

  9. Differential measurement of cosmic-ray gradient with respect to interplanetary current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christon, S. P.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1985-01-01

    Simultaneous magnetic field and charged particle measurements from the Voyager pacecraft at heliographic latitude separations from 10 deg to 21 deg are used to determine the latitude gradient of the galactic cosmic ray flux with respect to the interplanetary current sheet. By comparing the ratio of cosmic ray flux at Voyager 1 to that at Voyager 2 during periods when both spacecraft are first north and then south of the interplanetary current sheet, we find an estimate of the latitudinal gradient with respect to the current sheet of approximately -0.15 + or- 0.05%/deg under restricted interplanetary conditions.

  10. Radial deformation of the solar current sheet as a cause of geomagnetic storms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akasofu, S.-I.

    1979-01-01

    It is suggested that the solar current sheet, extending from a coronal streamer, develops a large-scale radial deformation, at times with a very steep gradient at the earth's distance. The associated magnetic field lines (namely, the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) lines) are expected to have also a large gradient in the vicinity of the current sheet. It is also suggested that some of the major geomagnetic storms occur when the earth is located in the region where IMF field lines have a large dip angle with respect to the ecliptic plane for an extended period (6-48 h), as a result of a steep radial deformation of the current sheet.

  11. Magnetic Reconnection Onset via Disruption of a Forming Current Sheet by the Plasmoid Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, Nuno; Uzdensky, Dmitri

    The recent realization that Sweet-Parker reconnection current sheets are violently unstable to the secondary tearing (plasmoid) instability implies that such current sheets are unlikely to be realized in real systems. This suggests that, in order to understand the onset of magnetic reconnection, one needs to consider the growth of the tearing instability in a current layer as it is just being formed. We present such an analysis in the context of nonlinear resistive MHD for a generic time-dependent equilibrium representing a gradually forming current sheet. It is shown that, under most conditions, the longest-wavelength mode dominates, resulting in just one or two big plasmoids produced in the immediate aftermath of current sheet formation. Specific examples pertaining to solar flares and to parasitic modes of the magnetorotational instability are provided.

  12. Reconnection of Quasi-singular Current Sheets: The "Ideal" Tearing Mode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pucci, Fulvia; Velli, Marco

    2014-01-01

    A strong indication that fast reconnection regimes exist within resistive magnetohydrodynamics was given by the proof that the Sweet-Parker current sheet, maintained by a flow field with an appropriate inflow-outflow structure, could be unstable to a reconnecting instability which grows without bound as the Lundquist number, S, tends to infinity. The requirement of a minimum value for S in order for the plasmoid instability to kick in does little to resolve the paradoxical nature of the result. Here we argue against the realizability of Sweet-Parker current sheets in astrophysical plasmas with very large S by showing that an "ideal" tearing mode takes over before current sheets reach such a thickness. While the Sweet-Parker current sheet thickness scales as ~S -1/2, the tearing mode becomes effectively ideal when a current sheet collapses to a thickness of the order of ~S -1/3, up to 100 times thicker than S -1/2, when (as happens in many astrophysical environments) S is as large as 1012. Such a sheet, while still diffusing over a very long time, is unstable to a tearing mode with multiple x-points: here we detail the characteristics of the instability and discuss how it may help solve the flare trigger problem and effectively initiate the turbulent disruption of the sheet.

  13. Sharp edges in solar microwave spectra - Neutral current sheets or cyclotron lines?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmahl, E. J.; Kundu, M. R.; Shevgaonkar, R. K.; Mcconnell, D.

    1984-01-01

    Two solar active regions have been mapped using the VLA at three closely spaced frequencies (4496, 4716, and 4996 MHz) in an attempt to determine the origin of the steep spectra (index gamma equal to about -5 to -8) sometimes observed with large single telescopes. One of the regions observed indeed shows an anomalously large slope (gamma equal to about -6) compared to the usual (gamma equal to about -2 to -2.5). The other region shows a similar slope (gamma equal to about -5) but with a larger range of statistical error. Two possible explanations for such steep edges in solar spectra are (1) transmission effects of neutral current sheets, and (2) the appearance of cyclotron lines. The internal evidence of the microwave maps and simultaneous optical observations favor an explanation in terms of cyclotron lines.

  14. Net field-aligned currents observed by Triad

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sugiura, M.; Potemra, T. A.

    1975-01-01

    From the Triad magnetometer observation of a step-like level shift in the east-west component of the magnetic field at 800 km altitude, the existence of a net current flowing into or away from the ionosphere in a current layer was inferred. The current direction is toward the ionosphere on the morning side and away from it on the afternoon side. The field aligned currents observed by Triad are considered as being an important element in the electro-dynamical coupling between the distant magnetosphere and the ionosphere. The current density integrated over the thickness of the layer increases with increasing magnetic activity, but the relation between the current density and Kp in individual cases is not a simple linear relation. An extrapolation of the statistical relation to Kp = 0 indicates existence of a sheet current of order 0.1 amp/m even at extremely quiet times. During periods of higher magnetic activity an integrated current of approximately 1 amp/m and average current density of order 0.000001 amp/sq m are observed. The location and the latitudinal width of the field aligned current layer carrying the net current very roughly agree with those of the region of high electron intensities in the trapping boundary.

  15. Motion of non-uniform double current-vortex sheets in magnetohydrodynamic flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Chihiro

    2016-03-01

    A nonlinear motion of vortex sheets with a non-uniform current is investigated using the vortex blob method. The fluid interface forms a double layered current-vortex sheet due to the boundary condition possessing the induction equation. We can prove that the current only flows on the interface and that does not appear in the bulk when we apply the initial magnetic field to be parallel to the interface. We show that the current induced on a vortex sheet leads to a strong amplification of the magnetic field, taking the motion of vortex sheets in magnetohydrodynamic Richtmyer-Meshkov instability as an example. When the initial Lorentz force term is large, an oscillation due to the Alfvén wave appears and the nonlinear growth is suppressed.

  16. Spontaneous formation of electric current sheets and the origin of solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Low, B. C.; Wolfson, R.

    1988-01-01

    It is demonstrated that the continuous boundary motion of a sheared magnetic field in a tenuous plasma with an infinite electrical conductivity can induce the formation of multiple electric current sheets in the interior plasma. In response to specific footpoint displacements, the quadrupolar magnetic field considered is shown to require the formation of multiple electric current sheets as it achieves a force-free state. Some of the current sheets are found to be of finite length, running along separatrix lines of force which separate lobes of magnetic flux. It is suggested that current sheets in the form of infinitely thin magnetic shear layers may be unstable to resistive tearing, a process which may have application to solar flares.

  17. Field-Aligned Current Sheet Motion and Its Correlation with Solar Wind Conditions and Geomagnetic Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Le, G.; Boardsen, S. A.; Slavin, J. A.; Strangeway, R. J.

    2008-05-01

    Field-aligned currents (FACs) are the currents flowing into and out of the ionosphere which connect to the magnetosphere. They provide an essential linkage between the solar wind - magnetosphere system and the ionosphere, and the understanding of these currents is important for global magnetosphere dynamics and space weather prediction. The three spacecraft ST-5 constellation provides an unprecedented opportunity to study in situ FAC dynamics in time scales (10 sec to 10 min) that can not be achieved previously with single spacecraft studies or large-spaced conjugate spacecraft studies. In this study, we use the magnetic field observations during the whole ST-5 mission and their corresponding solar wind conditions to study the dependence of FAC current sheet motion and intensity on solar wind conditions. FAC peak current densities show very good correlations with some solar wind parameters, including IMF Bz, dynamic pressure, Ey, and some IMF angles, but not with other parameters. Instant FAC speeds show generally much weaker dependence on solar wind conditions comparing to FAC peak current densities. This obvious uncorrelation between FAC peak current densities and speeds implies that FAC peak current densities are more consistently controlled by solar wind conditions and geomagnetic activities, while FAC speeds are more oscillatory, sometimes with higher speeds during quieter times and lower speeds during more turbulent times.

  18. Glaciological constraints on current ice mass changes from modelling the ice sheets over the glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huybrechts, P.

    2003-04-01

    The evolution of continental ice sheets introduces a long time scale in the climate system. Large ice sheets have a memory of millenia, hence the present-day ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are still adjusting to climatic variations extending back to the last glacial period. This trend is separate from the direct response to mass-balance changes on decadal time scales and needs to be correctly accounted for when assessing current and future contributions to sea level. One way to obtain estimates of current ice mass changes is to model the past history of the ice sheets and their underlying beds over the glacial cycles. Such calculations assist to distinguish between the longer-term ice-dynamic evolution and short-term mass-balance changes when interpreting altimetry data, and are helpful to isolate the effects of postglacial rebound from gravity and altimetry trends. The presentation will discuss results obtained from 3-D thermomechanical ice-sheet/lithosphere/bedrock models applied to the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The simulations are forced by time-dependent boundary conditions derived from sediment and ice core records and are constrained by geomorphological and glacial-geological data of past ice sheet and sea-level stands. Current simulations suggest that the Greenland ice sheet is close to balance, while the Antarctic ice sheet is still losing mass, mainly due to incomplete grounding-line retreat of the West Antarctic ice sheet since the LGM. The results indicate that altimetry trends are likely dominated by ice thickness changes but that the gravitational signal mainly reflects postglacial rebound.

  19. The Helium Abundance at Quiescent Current Sheets and the Slow Solar Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suess, Steven T.; Ko, Y.-K.; VonSteiger, R.

    2008-01-01

    Ulysses MAG data were used to identify current sheets during sunspot minimum years of 1994-1997 and 2004-2006. The purpose of limiting the dates was to focus attention on 'quiescent current sheets' with as little influence from ICMEs as possible. SWOOPS data were then used in a superposed epoch analysis to study Helium abundance in the vicinity of the current sheet, similar to the study done by Borrini et al. (1981). That earlier study found a narrow (ca. 2 day) minimum in He/H around the current sheet that is extremely variable from one year to the next in the period 1971-1978. A similar result is found here for data at all latitudes and distances in 2004-2006. Conversely, data from 1994-1997 produce a deep minimum several times wider (ca. 10 days). The reason for this is found to be that low He/H is more closely associated with slow wind than the current sheet per se. There are thus apparently at least two sources of slow wind, one associated with very low He/H of 0-0.02 and one associated with moderate abundance of 0.03-0.05. The large variability is a consequence of the relatively small number of current sheet encounters around solar minimum and the random distribution of low He/H intervals, lasting less than 1 day to more than 7 days, throughout slow wind.

  20. A Theoretical Model of a Thinning Current Sheet in the Low-β Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeshige, Satoshi; Takasao, Shinsuke; Shibata, Kazunari

    2015-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection is an important physical process in various explosive phenomena in the universe. In previous studies, it was found that fast reconnection takes place when the thickness of a current sheet becomes on the order of a microscopic length such as the ion Larmor radius or the ion inertial length. In this study, we investigated the pinching process of a current sheet by the Lorentz force in a low-β plasma using one-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations. It is known that there is an exact self-similar solution for this problem that neglects gas pressure. We compared the non-linear MHD dynamics with the analytic self-similar solution. From the MHD simulations, we found that with the gas pressure included the implosion process deviates from the analytic self-similar solution as t\\to {t}0, where t0 is the explosion time when the thickness of a current sheet of the analytic solution becomes 0. We also found that a pair of MHD fast-mode shocks is generated and propagates after the formation of the pinched current sheet as t\\to {t}0. On the basis of the Rankine-Hugoniot relations, we derived the scaling law of the physical quantities with respect to the initial plasma beta in the pinched current sheet. Our study could help us estimate the physical quantities in the pinched current sheet formed in a low-β plasma.

  1. Three-dimensional observations of Birkeland currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barfield, J. N.; Saflekos, N. A.; Sheehan, R. E.; Carovillano, R. L.; Potemra, T. A.

    1986-01-01

    The dominant coupling between the ionosphere and magnetosphere is now understood to be Birkeland currents. During substorms the Birkeland current system in the midnight sector is generally interpreted as a cross-tail current interruption and diversion along magnetic field lines to the conducting ionosphere, which carries the intensified auroral electrojet. In the present study, the equatorial current diversion, the Birkeland current intensification, and the auroral electrojet increase in activity were observed to be initiated simultaneously at the onset of substorms. The principal finding is that the field-aligned currents of the components of the current wedge have been observed simultaneously on the ground, at low-altitude satellite orbits, and at geosynchronous satellite orbits. Recent dynamic modeling work by Chen et al. (1982) appears to support our findings. These observations contribute significantly toward the confirmation of the substorm current wedge model and complement and extend the results obtained by Nagai (1982).

  2. Fast magnetic reconnection in thin current sheets: effects of different current profiles and electron inertia in Ohm's law.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pucci, Fulvia; Del Sarto, Daniele; Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco

    2015-04-01

    By examining sheets with thicknesses scaling as different powers of the Lundquist number S, we previously showed (Pucci and Velli, 2014) that the growth rate of the tearing mode increases as current sheets thin and, once the inverse aspect ratio reaches a scaling a/L = S-1/3, the time-scale for the instability to develop becomes of the order of the Alfvén time. That means that a fast instability sets in well before Sweet-Parker type current sheets can form. In addition, such an instability produces many islands in the sheet, leading to fast nonlinear evolution and most probably a turbulent disruption of the sheet itself. This has fundamental implications for magnetically driven reconnection throughout the corona, and in particular for coronal heating and the triggering of coronal mass ejections. Here we extend the study of reconnection instabilities to magnetic fields of grater complexity, displaying different current structures such as, for example, multiple or asymmetric current layers. We also consider the possibility of a Δ' dependence on wave-number k-p for different values of p, studying analogies and variations of the trigger scaling relation a/L ~ S-1/3 with respect to the Harris current sheet equilibrium. At large Lundquist numbers in typical Heliospheric plasmas kinetic effects become more important in Ohm's law: we consider the effects of electron skin depth reconnection, showing that we can define a trigger relation similar to the resistive case. The results are important to the transition to fast reconnection in the solar corona, solar wind, magnetosphere as well as laboratory plasmas. F. Pucci and M. Velli, "Reconnection of quasi-singular current sheets: the 'ideal" tearing mode" ApJ 780:L19, 2014.

  3. The Effect of Electric Current and Strain Rate on Serrated Flow of Sheet Aluminum Alloy 5754

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kunmin; Fan, Rong; Wang, Limin

    2016-03-01

    Electrically assisted tensile tests are carried out on sheet aluminum alloy AA5754 at electric current densities ranging from 0 to 30.4 A/mm2 and strain rates ranging from 10-3 to 10-1 s-1. The strain rate sensitivity and the serrated flow behavior are investigated in accordance with dynamic strain aging mechanism. The strain rate sensitivity changes from negative to positive and keeps increasing with current density. The tendency toward serrated flow is characterized by the onset of Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) instabilities, which are influenced by strain rate, temperature, and electric current. The evolutions of three types of serrated flow are observed and analyzed with respect to strain rate and current density. The magnitude of serration varies with strain rate and current density. The serrated flow can be suppressed by a high strain rate, a high temperature, or a strong electric current. The threshold values of these parameters are determined and discussed. Conventional oven-heated tensile tests are conducted to distinguish the electroplasticity. The flow stress reduces more in electrically assisted tension compared to oven-heated tension at the same temperature level. The electric current helps suppress the serrated flow at the similar temperature level of oven-heating.

  4. Current Sheet Boundaries in MHD Turbulence and in the Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhdankin, Vladimir; Boldyrev, Stanislav; Perez, Jean; Mason, Joanne

    2011-10-01

    Current sheets inside of plasmas are characterized by strong changes in the magnetic field direction. We study this property of current sheets by measuring the angular change of the magnetic field direction across fixed spatial increments throughout the plasma domain. Using data from turbulent MHD simulations, we find that the probability distribution of angular change obeys an exponential law, with a scaling that is largely independent of the choice of spatial increment. In the first case, reduced MHD is used with a strong guide field (δb/B0 = 1 / 5), and the scaling is approximately fit by exp(- θ / 6 . 5). In the second case, full MHD is used with a weak guide field, and the fit is exp(- θ / 21 . 7). It is proposed that the difference in scaling parameters between the two regimes is due to the strength of the background magnetic field. This may explain the observations of spacecraft in the solar wind, which found two distinct populations of magnetic discontinuities with different exponential distributions of angular change in magnetic field, e.g. Borovsky (2008) and Miao et al. (2011).

  5. PERISTALTIC PUMPING NEAR POST-CORONAL MASS EJECTION SUPRA-ARCADE CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Scott, Roger B.; Longcope, Dana W.; McKenzie, David E.

    2013-10-10

    Temperature and density measurements near supra-arcade current sheets suggest that plasma on unreconnected field lines may experience some degree of 'pre-heating' and 'pre-densification' prior to reconnection. Models of patchy reconnection allow for heating and acceleration of plasma along reconnected field lines but do not offer a mechanism for transport of thermal energy across field lines. Here, we present a model in which a reconnected flux tube retracts, deforming the surrounding layer of unreconnected field. The deformation creates constrictions that act as peristaltic pumps, driving plasma flow along affected field lines. Under certain circumstances, these flows lead to shocks that can extend far out into the unreconnected field, altering the plasma properties in the affected region. These findings have direct implications for observations in the solar corona, particularly in regard to such phenomena as high temperatures near current sheets in eruptive solar flares and wakes seen in the form of descending regions of density depletion or supra-arcade downflows.

  6. Thermal Structure of Current Sheets and Supra-Arcade Downflows in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanneman, Will; Reeves, K.

    2013-01-01

    Data has been collected from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to determine the thermal structure of supra-arcade downflows (SADs) in the solar corona. SADs, first discovered by Yohkoh in 1999 January 20 (McKenzie & Hudson 1999) can be described as inward flowing density depletions, often observed in post flare current sheets. Some models of this phenomenon have suggested that the plasma in the dark lanes is heated to temperatures of ~8 MK (Maglione et al. 2011). The three flares examined here took place on 2011 October 22, 2012 January 14 and 2012 January 27. Using the relation between temperature and the different sensitivity of the 94Å, 131Å, and 171Å channels, colour-temperature maps are made for each flare, and contours are added to indicate the distribution of very hot plasma (> 5.5 MK) and slightly cooler plasma (> 3 MK). We find that the hottest areas in the current sheet are located near the top of the arcade. We also compare the colour-temperatures in the SADs to that of the surrounding plasma. Cross sections of emission in the AIA bandpasses through the dark lanes are quantitatively measured and compared with the predictions made by Maglione et al. The levels of emission in relation to background determine whether these predictions can be ruled out.

  7. Streaming sausage, kink and tearing instabilities in a current sheet with applications to the earth's magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, L. C.; Wang, S.; Wei, C. Q.; Tsurutani, B. T.

    1988-01-01

    This paper investigates the growth rates and eigenmode structures of the streaming sausage, kink, and tearing instabilities in a current sheet with a super-Alfvenic flow. The growth rates and eigenmode structures are first considered in the ideal incompressible limit by using a four-layer model, as well as a more realistic case in which all plasma parameters and the magnetic field vary continuously along the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field and plasma flow. An initial-value method is applied to obtain the growth rate and eigenmode profiles of the fastest growing mode, which is either the sausage mode or kink mode. It is shown that, in the earth's magnetotail, where super-Alfvenic plasma flows are observed in the plasma sheet and the ratio between the plasma and magnetic pressures far away from the current layer is about 0.1-0.3 in the lobes, the streaming sausage and streaming tearing instabilities, but not kink modes, are likely to occur.

  8. Excitation of an electrostatic wave by a cold electron current sheet of finite thickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hwang, K. S.; Fontheim, E. G.; Ong, R. S. B.

    1983-01-01

    Calculations for the threshold of current-driven instabilities and the growth rates of ion acoustic and electrostatic ion cyclotron instabilities in a magnetized plasma driven a current sheet with a finite width are presented. Maxwellian equations are employed to model the velocity distributions of electrons and ions in a direction perpendicular to the sheet. A dispersion relation is defined for the regions of instability, and boundary conditions are characterized in order to obtain a set of eigenvalue equations. Thresholds are delineated for various regions, including ducted mode solutions where only ion-acoustic waves are excited in areas where the frequency range significantly exceeds the ion cyclotron frequency. When a constant electron drift velocity is present, a thick current sheet is more unstable than a thin one. Fewer modes become unstable with a thinner sheet.

  9. GALAXY SPIN ALIGNMENT IN FILAMENTS AND SHEETS: OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE

    SciTech Connect

    Tempel, Elmo; Libeskind, Noam I. E-mail: nlibeskind@aip.de

    2013-10-01

    The properties of galaxies are known to be affected by their environment. One important question is how their angular momentum reflects the surrounding cosmic web. We use the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to investigate the spin axes of spiral and elliptical galaxies relative to their surrounding filament/sheet orientations. To detect filaments, a marked point process with interactions (the {sup B}isous model{sup )} is used. Sheets are found by detecting 'flattened' filaments. The minor axes of ellipticals are found to be preferentially perpendicular to hosting filaments. A weak correlation is found with sheets. These findings are consistent with the notion that elliptical galaxies formed via mergers, which predominantly occurred along the filaments. The spin axis of spiral galaxies is found to align with the host filament, with no correlation between spiral spin and sheet normal. When examined as a function of distance from the filament axis, a much stronger correlation is found in the outer parts, suggesting that the alignment is driven by the laminar infall of gas from sheets to filaments. When compared with numerical simulations, our results suggest that the connection between dark matter halo and galaxy spin is not straightforward. Our results provide an important input to the understanding of how galaxies acquire their angular momentum.

  10. Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Current-Sheet Formation and Reconnection at a Magnetic X Line

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVore, C. R.; Antiochos, S. K.; Karpen, J. T.; Black, C.

    2011-12-01

    Phenomena ranging from the quiescent heating of the ambient plasma to the highly explosive release of energy and acceleration of particles in flares are conjectured to result from magnetic reconnection at electric current sheets in the Sun's corona. We are investigating numerically, using a macroscopic magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model with adaptive mesh refinement, the formation and reconnection of a current sheet in an initially potential 2D magnetic field containing a null. Subjecting this simple configuration to unequal stresses in the four quadrants bounded by the X-line separatrix distorts the potential null into a double-Y-line current sheet. We find that even small distortions of the magnetic field induce the formation of a tangential discontinuity in the high-beta region around the null. A continuously applied stress eventually leads to the onset of fast magnetic reconnection across the sheet, with copious production, merging, and ejection of magnetic islands. We compare the current-sheet development and evolution for three cases: quasi-ideal MHD with numerical resistivity only; uniformly resistive MHD; and MHD with an embedded kinetic reconnection model. Analogous kinetic simulations using particle-in-cell (PIC) methods to investigate the small-scale dynamics of the system also are being pursued (C. Black et al., this meeting). Our progress toward understanding this simple system will be reported, as will the implications of our results for the dynamic activity associated with coronal current sheets and for general multiscale modeling of magnetized plasmas in the Heliosphere. Our research was supported by NASA.

  11. Atomic-scale observation of rotational misorientation in suspended few-layer graphene sheets.

    PubMed

    Singh, Manoj K; Titus, Elby; Gonçalves, Gil; Marques, Paula A A P; Bdikin, Igor; Kholkin, Andrei L; Gracio, José J A

    2010-05-01

    Single or few-layer graphene (FLG) sheets offer extraordinary electronic, thermal and mechanical properties and are expected to find a variety of applications. Fully exploiting the properties of graphene will require a method for the production of high-quality graphene sheets (almost pristine graphene) in large quantities. In this regard, we report a two-step method for obtaining a homogenous colloidal suspension of single or FLG sheets up to 0.15 mg ml(-1) in N,N-dimethylformamide solution. The graphene nanostructures are directly imaged using a high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) operated at 200 kV with a point resolution of 0.16 nm. We observed rotational misorientation within the flake in the HRTEM images of 2, 4 and 6 layers of graphene sheets, giving rise to Moiré patterns. By filtering in the frequency domain using a Fourier transform, we reconstruct the graphene lattice of each sheet and determine the relative rotation between consecutive graphene layers up, to six separate sheets. Direct evidence is obtained for FLG sheets with packing that is different to the standard AB Bernal packing of bulk graphite. Furthermore, we observed periodic ripples in suspended graphene sheets in our TEM measurements. Electrostatic force microscopy was used to characterize the electric potential distribution on the surface of FLG sheets on SiO2/Si substrates in ambient conditions. The FLG sheets were found to exhibit a conducting nature with small potential variations on the surface. PMID:20648314

  12. Field reversing magnetotail current sheets: earth, Venus, and Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    SciTech Connect

    McComas, D.J.

    1986-09-01

    This dissertation examines the field reversing magnetotail current sheets at the earth, Venus, and Comet Giacobini-Zinner. In the near earth study a new analysis technique is developed to calculate the detailed current density distributions within the cross tail current sheet for the first time. This technique removes the effects of a variable sheet velocity by inverting intersatellite timings between the co-orbiting satellites ISEE-1 and -2. Case studies of three relatively geomagnetically quiet crossings are made; sheet thicknesses and peak current densities are approx.1-5 x 10/sup 4/ km and approx.5-50 nA/m/sup 2/. Current density distributions reveal a high density central region, lower density shoulders, and considerable fine structure throughout. In the Venus study another new analysis technique is developed to reconstruct the average tail configuration from a correlation between field magnitude and draping angle in a large statistical data set. In the comet study, high resolution magnetic field and plasma electron data from the ICE traversal of Giacobini-Zinner are combined for the first time to determine the tail/current sheet geometry and calculate certain important but unmeasured local ion and upstream properties. Pressure balance across the tail gives ion temperatures and betas of approx.1.2 x 10/sup 5/ K and approx.40 in the center of the current sheet to approx.1 x 10/sup 6/ K and approx.3 in the outer lobes. Axial stress balance shows that the velocity shear upstream near the nucleus is >6 (approx.1 at ICE), and that a region of strongly enhanced mass loading (ion source rate approx.24 times that upstream from lobes) exists upstream from the current sheet. The integrated downtail mass flux is approx.2.6 x 10/sup 26/ H/sub 2/O+/sec, which is only approx.1% of the independently determined total cometary efflux. 79 refs., 37 figs.

  13. Self-organization in space plasma: formation of magnetic shear in current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenyi, Lev; Delcourt, Dominique; Mingalev, Oleg; Malova, Helmi; Popov, Victor; Grigorenko, Elena; Petrukovich, Anatoli

    2016-07-01

    Thin current sheets are plasma structures that usually appear near reconnection regions. The presence of the shear magnetic field is characteristic for these structures. Self-consistent kinetic model of magnetotail thin current sheet (TCS) is used to understand the mechanisms of self-organization of sheared thin current sheets in a space plasma. It is shown that these configurations appear as a result of self-consistent evolution of some initial magnetic perturbation at current sheet center. Two general shapes of shear TCS components are found as a function of the transverse coordinate: symmetric and antisymmetric. We show that TCS formation goes together with the emergence of field-aligned currents in the center of the current sheet, as a result of north-south asymmetry of quasi-adiabatic ion motions. Ion drift currents can also contribute to the magnetic shear evolution, but their role is much less significant, their contribution depending upon the normal component Bz and the amplitude of the initial perturbation in TCS. Parametric maps illustrating different types of TCS equilibria are presented.

  14. Distributions of the ion temperature, ion pressure, and electron density over the current sheet surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyrie, N. P.; Markov, V. S.; Frank, A. G.; Vasilkov, D. G.; Voronova, E. V.

    2016-06-01

    The distributions of the ion temperature, ion pressure, and electron density over the width (the major transverse dimension) of the current sheet have been studied for the first time. The current sheets were formed in discharges in argon and helium in 2D and 3D magnetic configurations. It is found that the temperature of argon ions in both 2D and 3D magnetic configurations is almost uniform over the sheet width and that argon ions are accelerated by the Ampère force. In contrast, the distributions of the electron density and the temperature of helium ions are found to be substantially nonuniform. As a result, in the 2D magnetic configuration, the ion pressure gradient across the sheet width makes a significant contribution (comparable with the Ampère force) to the acceleration of helium ions, whereas in the 3D magnetic configuration, the Ampère force is counterbalanced by the pressure gradient.

  15. Observations of plasma sheet expansion at substorm onset, R = 15 to 22 R[sub e

    SciTech Connect

    Lyons, L.R.; Huang, C.Y.

    1992-09-23

    The authors have used a large number of auroral magnetograms to identify four isolated substorms and estimate their onset times. At the onsets, ISEE-1 was in the vicinity of magnetic midnight at radial distances of 15.6 to 21.8 R[sub e] and very near the outer boundary of the plasma sheet. They find that, for each event, the plasma sheet expanded, and the magnetic field dipolarized at the inferred onset time. Their most definitive event occurred while ISEE was at a geocentric radial distance of 21.8 R[sub e]. This result conflicts with previous understanding, though further verification of the result is required. The observations show very similar characteristics to those observed at synchronous orbit, and they are consistent with an extension of a portion of the substorm current wedge to the radial distance of the satellite. If this explanation is correct, ISEE must have been within the longitude range of the substorm current wedge at the onsets. 13 refs., 8 figs.

  16. Particle scattering and current sheet stability in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Pellinen, R. J.; Buechner, J.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Lopez, R. E.; Dyson, R. L.; Frank, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    The particle scattering and current sheet stability features in the geomagnetic tail during the phase of substorm growth were investigated using Tsyganenko's (1989) magnetic field model. In a study of four substorm events which were observed both in the high-altitude nightside tail and in the auroral ionosphere, the model magnetic field was adjusted to each case so as to represent the global field development during the growth phase of the substorms. The model results suggest that the auroral brightenings are connected with processes taking place in the near-earth region inside about 15 earth radii. The results also suggest that there is a connection between the chaotization of the electrons and the auroral brightenings at substorm onset.

  17. Experiments on the tearing of a current sheet into a bundle of interacting flux ropes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, Walter; Dehaas, Tim; van Compernolle, Bart; Latshaw, Alex; Daughton, William

    2014-10-01

    A narrow (δ/L ~ . 05 , δ ~= 3 - 10c/ωpe , δ = 1 cm) current sheet is established in a magnetized (B0z = 200 G, He, Len = 17 m, Dia = 60 cm) plasma column. The current sheet is observed to tear into multiple magnetic islands in several Alfvén transit times. Volumetric magnetic field data is acquired at 16,500 spatial locations and 16,000 time steps (δt = .34 μs). The flux ropes appear as multiple ``O'' and ``X'' points when viewed in a plane perpendicular to the local current but, in fact are three-dimensional. The kink unstable ropes writhe, and twist about each other as the ensemble of ropes spin about the background axial magnetic field. Fast framing camera images (τexp = 1 μs , 34,000 fps) clearly show the motion but differ from shot to shot. The movies are analyzed using correlation techniques. The rope dynamics becomes chaotic therefore correlation techniques using a fixed magnetic probe as well a He II line (λ = 303 A) are used to generate 3D images of the ropes. An emissive probe is used to measure the plasma potential and the total electric field, E-> = - ∇ ϕ -∂/A-> ∂ t , and plasma resistivity are evaluated. The perpendicular electric fields are two orders of magnitude larger than the parallel ones. The entropy and complexity of the flux ropes are evaluated. Work supported by a UC-LANL Lab fund and the Basic Plasma Science Facility which is funded by DOE and NSF.

  18. The generation of rapid solar flare hard X-ray and microwave fluctuations in current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holman, Gordon D.

    1986-01-01

    The generation of rapid fluctuations, or spikes, in hard X-ray and microwave bursts via the disruption of electron heating and acceleration in current sheets is studied. It is found that 20 msec hard X-ray fluctuations can be thermally generated in a current sheet if the resistivity in the sheet is highly anomalous, the plasma density in the emitting region is relatively high, and the volume of the emitting region is greater than that of the current sheet. A specific mechanism for producing the fluctuations, involving heating in the presence of ion acoustic turbulence and a constant driving electric field, and interruption of the heating by a strong two-stream instability, is discussed. Variations upon this mechanism are also discussed. This mechanism also modulates electron acceleration, as required for the microwave spike emission. If the hard X-ray emission at energies less than approx. 1000 keV is nonthermal bremsstrahlung, the coherent modulation of electron acceleration in a large number of current sheets is required.

  19. PLASMOID RELEASES IN THE HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET AND ASSOCIATED CORONAL HOLE BOUNDARY LAYER EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Foullon, C.; Lavraud, B.; Opitz, A.; Sauvaud, J.-A.; Luhmann, J. G.; Farrugia, C. J.; Simunac, K. D. C.; Galvin, A. B.; Kucharek, H.; Popecki, M.; Retino, A.; Wardle, N. C.; Owen, C. J.

    2011-08-10

    As the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is corotating past STEREO-B, near-Earth spacecraft ACE, Wind and Cluster, and STEREO-A over more than three days between 2008 January 10 and 14, we observe various sections of (near-pressure-balanced) flux-rope- and magnetic-island-type plasmoids in the associated heliospheric plasma sheet (HPS). The plasmoids can qualify as slow interplanetary coronal mass ejections and are relatively low proton beta (<0.5) structures, with small length scales (an order of magnitude lower than typical magnetic cloud values) and low magnetic field strengths (2-8 nT). One of them, in particular, detected at STEREO-B, corresponds to the first reported evidence of a detached plasmoid in the HPS. The in situ signatures near Earth are associated with a long-decay X-ray flare and a slow small-scale streamer ejecta, observed remotely with white-light coronagraphs aboard STEREO-B and SOHO and tracked by triangulation. Before the arrival of the HPS, a coronal hole boundary layer (CHBL) is detected in situ. The multi-spacecraft observations indicate a CHBL stream corotating with the HCS but with a decreasing speed distribution suggestive of a localized or transient nature. While we may reasonably assume that an interaction between ejecta and CHBL provides the source of momentum for the slow ejecta's acceleration, the outstanding composition properties of the CHBL near Earth provide here circumstantial evidence that this interaction or possibly an earlier one, taking place during streamer swelling when the ejecta rises slowly, results in additional mixing processes.

  20. RICHTMYER-MESHKOV-TYPE INSTABILITY OF A CURRENT SHEET IN A RELATIVISTICALLY MAGNETIZED PLASMA

    SciTech Connect

    Inoue, Tsuyoshi

    2012-11-20

    The linear stability of a current sheet that is subject to an impulsive acceleration due to shock passage with the effect of a guide magnetic field is studied. We find that a current sheet embedded in relativistically magnetized plasma always shows a Richtmyer-Meshkov-type instability, while the stability depends on the density structure in the Newtonian limit. The growth of the instability is expected to generate turbulence around the current sheet, which can induce the so-called turbulent reconnection, the rate of which is essentially free from plasma resistivity. Thus, the instability can be applied as a triggering mechanism for rapid magnetic energy release in a variety of high-energy astrophysical phenomena such as pulsar wind nebulae, gamma-ray bursts, and active galactic nuclei, where the shock wave is thought to play a crucial role.

  1. Kinetic models of two-dimensional plane and axially symmetric current sheets: Group theory approach

    SciTech Connect

    Vasko, I. Y.; Artemyev, A. V.; Popov, V. Y.; Malova, H. V.

    2013-02-15

    In this paper, we present new class of solutions of Grad-Shafranov-like (GS-like) equations, describing kinetic plane and axially symmetric 2D current sheets. We show that these equations admit symmetry groups only for Maxwellian and {kappa}-distributions of charged particles. The admissible symmetry groups are used to reduce GS-like equations to ordinary differential equations for invariant solutions. We derive asymptotes of invariant solutions, while invariant solutions are found analytically for the {kappa}-distribution with {kappa}=7/2. We discuss the difference of obtained solutions from equilibria widely used in other studies. We show that {kappa} regulates the decrease rate of plasma characteristics along the current sheet and determines the spatial distribution of magnetic field components. The presented class of plane and axially symmetric (disk-like) current sheets includes solutions with the inclined neutral plane.

  2. Polarization features of solar radio emission and possible existence of current sheets in active regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gopalswamy, N.; Zheleznyakov, V. V.; White, S. M.; Kundu, M. R.

    1994-01-01

    We show that it is possible to account for the polarization features of solar radio emission provided the linear mode coupling theory is properly applied and the presence of current sheets in the corona is taken into account. We present a schematic model, including a current sheet that can explain the polarization features of both the low frequency slowly varying component and the bipolar noise storm radiation; the two radiations face similar propagation conditions through a current sheet and hence display similar polarization behavior. We discuss the applications of the linear mode coupling theory to the following types of solar emission: the slowly varying component, the microwave radio bursts, metric type U bursts, and bipolar noise storms.

  3. Intermittent Turbulence and SOC Dynamics in a 2-D Driven Current-Sheet Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klimas, A. J.; Uritsky, V.; Vinas, A. F.; Vassiliasdis, D.; Baker, D. N.

    2005-01-01

    Borovsky et al. have shown that Earth's magnetotail plasma sheet is strongly turbulent. More recently, Borovsky and Funsten have shown that eddy turbulence dominates and have suggested that the eddy turbulence is driven by fast flows that act as jets in the plasma. Through basic considerations of energy and magnetic flux conservation, these fast flows are thought to be localized to small portions of the total plasma sheet and to be generated by magnetic flux reconnection that is similarly localized. Angelopoulos et al., using single spacecraft Geotail data, have shown that the plasma sheet turbulence exhibits signs of intermittence and Weygand et al., using four spacecraft Cluster data, have confirmed and expanded on this conclusion. Uritsky et al., using Polar UVI image data, have shown that the evolution of bright, nightside, UV auroral emission regions is consistent with many of the properties of systems in self-organized criticality (SOC). Klimas et al. have suggested that the auroral dynamics is a reflection of the dynamics of the fast flows in the plasma. sheet. Their hypothesis is that the transport of magnetic fludenergy through the magnetotail is enabled by scale-free avalanches of localized reconnection whose SOC dynamics are reflected in the auroral UV emission dynamics. A corollary of this hypothesis is that the strong, intermittent, eddy turbulence of the plasma sheet is closely related to its critical dynamics. The question then arises: Can in situ evidence for the SOC dynamics be found in the properties of the plasma sheet turbulence? A 2-dimensional numerical driven current-sheet model of the central plasma sheet has been developed that incorporates an idealized current-driven instability with a resistive MHD system. It has been shown that the model can evolve into SOC in a physically relevant parameter regime. Initial results from a study of intermittent turbulence in this model and the relationship of this turbulence to the model's known SOC

  4. Neoclassical tearing mode saturation in periodic current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Militello, F.

    2008-04-15

    The saturation of Neoclassical Tearing Mode islands in a periodic slab configuration is investigated. Several theoretical models, all based on a generalization of Rutherford's procedure, that aim at reducing the complete system to a single equation of the magnetic island width, are compared against numerical simulations. When the effects of the bootstrap current and of the second derivative of the equilibrium current profile are included, the numerical saturation levels are well matched with the predictions of this equation in a wide region of the stability diagram. However, the numerical results diverge from the standard theory when evaluating the threshold for nonlinear destabilization, since the theoretical value appears to be strongly conservative. In other words, the standard generalization of Rutherford's equation is not able to capture the minimum value of the linear stability parameter and of the island width such that below them the Neoclassical Tearing Mode is always suppressed. To correct this discrepancy, a new theoretical model in which the transverse propagation of the island affects the bootstrap current term is proposed.

  5. Radar Observations of Rip Currents (duck, Nc)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haller, M. C.; Honegger, D. A.; Catalan, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    Rip currents are often highly transient features in space and time. Hydrodynamic observations of rip currents are likewise challenging to obtain. It is especially difficult to capture synoptic observations of the entire rip current circulation. Herein, we present unique observations of a fairly persistent rip outbreak made over the course of two weeks during a field experiment at the USACE Field Research Facility (September, 2010; Duck, NC). The observations are part of a multi-investigator, multi-university project entitled "Remote Sensing and Data-Assimilative Modeling in the Littorals" (DARLA-MURI) funded by ONR. The observations demonstrate the presence of a rip current (sometimes several) regularly imaged in marine radar image sequences over a 10-day period. The large number of events captured over a short time is fairly rare, especially for this site. The presence of the rip current is also confirmed by a cross-shore array of in situ current meters that were (fortuitously) deployed near the rip channel. The rip current strength is shown to be relatively strong (20-40 cm/s), though wave forcing was modest (Hs ~1m). The surface expression of the rip was persistent to distances of several surf zone widths offshore, in contrast to other recent observations based on drifters. Interestingly, the observed rip currents also often leave the surf zone at an oblique angle to shore normal. Our analysis herein will demonstrate the direction of the rip obliquity is governed by the alongshore wind stress with little dependence on the wave conditions. Also, radar imaging of the rip is not very sensitive to the wind conditions (for the conditions observed); rips were regularly observed unless there was a strong offshore component to the wind stress. This has lead us to the hypothesis that the radar imaging mechanism of these rips generated under light to moderate wave conditions is the small scale breaking of short wind waves on the opposing current. Finally, a new filtered

  6. The Svalbard-Barents Sea ice-sheet - Historical, current and future perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Landvik, Jon Y.

    2013-03-01

    The history of research on the Late Quaternary Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet mirrors the developments of ideas and the shifts of paradigms in glacial theory over the past 150 years. Since the onset of scientific research there in the early 19th Century, Svalbard has been a natural laboratory where ideas and concepts have been tested, and played an important (but rarely acknowledged) role in the break-through of the Ice Age theory in the 1870's. The history of how the scientific perception of the Svalbard-Barents sea ice sheet developed in the mid-20th Century also tells a story of how a combination of fairly scattered and often contradictory observational data, and through both deductive and inductive reasoning, could outline a major ice sheet that had left but few tangible fingerprints. Since the 1980's, with increased terrestrial stratigraphical data, ever more marine geological evidence and better chronological control of glacial events, our perception of the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet has changed. The first reconstructions depicted it as a static, concentric, single-domed ice sheet, with ice flowing from an ice divide over the central northern Barents Sea that expanded and declined in response to large-scale, Late Quaternary climate fluctuations, and which was more or less in tune with other major Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. We now increasingly perceive it as a very dynamic, multidomed ice sheet, controlled by climate fluctuations, relative sea-level change, as well as subglacial topography, substrate properties and basal temperature. In this respect, the Svalbard-Barents Sea ice sheet will increasingly hold the key for understanding the dynamics and processes of how marine-based ice sheets build-up and decay.

  7. Confinement of pure ion plasma in a cylindrical current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, Stephen F.; Chao, Edward H.; Davidson, Ronald C.; Phillips, Cynthia K.

    1999-12-01

    A novel method for containing a pure ion plasma at thermonuclear densities and temperatures has been modeled. The method combines the confinement principles of a Penning-Malmberg trap and a pulsed theta-pinch. A conventional Penning trap can confine a uniform-density plasma of about 5×1011cm-3 with a 30-Tesla magnetic field. However, if the axial field is ramped, a much higher local ion density can be obtained. Starting with a 107cm-3 trapped deuterium plasma at the Brillouin limit (B=0.6 Tesla), the field is ramped to 30 Tesla. Because the plasma is comprised of particles of only one sign of charge, transport losses are very low, i.e., the conductivity is high. As a result, the ramped field does not penetrate the plasma and a diamagnetic surface current is generated, with the ions being accelerated to relativistic velocities. To counteract the inward j×B forces from this induced current, additional ions are injected into the plasma along the axis to increase the density (and mutual electrostatic repulsion) of the target plasma. In the absence of the higher magnetic field in the center, the ions drift outward until a balance is established between the outward driving forces (centrifugal, electrostatic, pressure gradient) and the inward j×B force. An equilibrium calculation using a relativistic, 1-D, cold-fluid model shows that a plasma can be trapped in a hollow, 49-cm diameter, 0.2-cm thick cylinder with a density exceeding 4×1014cm-3.

  8. Mutual Inductance Problem for a System Consisting of a Current Sheet and a Thin Metal Plate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fulton, J. P.; Wincheski, B.; Nath, S.; Namkung, M.

    1993-01-01

    Rapid inspection of aircraft structures for flaws is of vital importance to the commercial and defense aircraft industry. In particular, inspecting thin aluminum structures for flaws is the focus of a large scale R&D effort in the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) community. Traditional eddy current methods used today are effective, but require long inspection times. New electromagnetic techniques which monitor the normal component of the magnetic field above a sample due to a sheet of current as the excitation, seem to be promising. This paper is an attempt to understand and analyze the magnetic field distribution due to a current sheet above an aluminum test sample. A simple theoretical model, coupled with a two dimensional finite element model (FEM) and experimental data will be presented in the next few sections. A current sheet above a conducting sample generates eddy currents in the material, while a sensor above the current sheet or in between the two plates monitors the normal component of the magnetic field. A rivet or a surface flaw near a rivet in an aircraft aluminum skin will disturb the magnetic field, which is imaged by the sensor. Initial results showed a strong dependence of the flaw induced normal magnetic field strength on the thickness and conductivity of the current-sheet that could not be accounted for by skin depth attenuation alone. It was believed that the eddy current imaging method explained the dependence of the thickness and conductivity of the flaw induced normal magnetic field. Further investigation, suggested the complexity associated with the mutual inductance of the system needed to be studied. The next section gives an analytical model to better understand the phenomenon.

  9. Modeling of different scenarios of thin current sheet equilibria in the Earth’s magnetotail

    SciTech Connect

    Ul’kin, A. A.; Malova, H. V. Popov, V. Yu.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-02-15

    The Earth’s magnetosphere is an open dynamic system permanently interacting with the solar wind, i.e., the plasma flow from the Sun. Some plasma processes in the magnetosphere are of spontaneous explosive character, while others develop rather slowly as compared to the characteristic times of plasma particle motion in it. The large-scale current sheet in the magnetotail can be in an almost equilibrium state both in quiet periods and during geomagnetic perturbations, and its variations can be considered quasistatic. Thus, under some conditions, the magnetotail current sheet can be described as an equilibrium plasma system. Its state depends on various parameters, in particular, on those determining the dynamics of charged particles. Knowing the main governing parameters, one can study the structure and properties of the current sheet equilibrium. This work is devoted to the self-consistent modeling of the equilibrium thin current sheet (TCS) of the Earth’s magnetotail, the thickness of which is comparable with the ion gyroradius. The main objective of this work is to examine how the TCS structure depends on the parameters characterizing the particle dynamics and magnetic field geometry. A numerical hybrid self-consistent TCS model in which the tension of magnetic field lines is counterbalanced by the inertia of ions moving through the sheet is constructed. The ion dynamics is considered in the quasi-adiabatic approximation, while the electron motion, in the conductive fluid approximation. Depending on the values of the adiabaticity parameter κ (which determines the character of plasma particle motion) and the dimensionless normal component of the magnetic field b{sub z}, the following two scenarios are considered: (A) the adiabaticity parameter is proportional to the particle energy and b{sub z} = const and (B) the particle energy is fixed and the adiabaticity parameter is proportional to b{sub z}. The structure of the current sheet and particle dynamics in it

  10. The effect of coronal mass ejections on the structure of the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhao, Xuepu; Hoeksema, J. Todd

    1994-01-01

    The existence of a stable heliospheric current sheet (HCS) structure near solar cycle maximum was questioned since the recognition that coronal mass ejections (CME's) occur in coronal helmet streamers. Evidence is presented suggesting that pre-existing helmet streamers disrupted or blown out by CME's reform in a time interval much shorter than the life time of the HCS, and that the concept of the HCS has a meaning at any time of thesolar cycle. It appears that the HCS, the current layer that separates adjacent interplanetary magnetic field regions with opposite magnetic polarity, exists throughout the solar cycle, though not always as a thin disk-like sheet. The sheet may be thickened by embedded magnetic ropes formed by CME's, especially near sunspot maximum. The HCS may be used as timing mark in identifying or predicting CME's in the interplanetary medium.

  11. Moored current observations in the Mozambique Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridderinkhof, H.; de Ruijter, W. P. M.

    2003-07-01

    Observations from an array of current meter moorings across the narrowest section of the Mozambique Channel are used to study the general characteristics of the current field and to estimate the volume transport through the channel. The observations cover a period of about 19 months in 2000 and 2001. Due to problems in data return, the mean transport time series is constructed using several assumptions. The resulting mean volume transport through the channel is estimated to be 14 Sv southward. The time variability of the volume transport is large and oscillates remarkably regular with minimum and maximum values varying roughly between 20 Sv northwards and 60 Sv southwards. No seasonal variability has been found. The spatial and temporal variability of the currents can be characterised by two different regimes: one with strong currents across the entire section, the other one with weak currents. The former lasts much longer than the latter. During the strong-current regime, an anti-cyclonic eddy is formed, which subsequently migrates southward. The formation of these eddies occurs regularly and is related to the strength of the volume transport through the channel. At intermediate and deep levels against the African continental slope (1500 and 2500 m), a relatively strong and northward flowing Mozambique Undercurrent is observed. The mean northward speed is 4.6 cm s -1 (1500 m) and 4.5 cm s -1 (2500 m).

  12. THEMIS observation of Kinetic Ballooning/Interchange Waves in the High Bz Plasma Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panov, Evgeny V.; Nakamura, Rumi; Kubyshkina, Marina V.; Baumjohann, Wolfgang; A, Sergeev, Victor

    2015-04-01

    Using THEMIS observations of plasma sheet oscillations with kinetic ballooning/interchange instability (BICI) signatures, we investigate the properties of the waves when a high background plasma sheet Bz is seen. We find that such waves are in a better agreement with the existing kinetic simulations. Using adapted Tsyganenko models, we also show conjugate all-sky camera observations in the course of the development of the waves.

  13. Three separate ion populations observed simultaneously in the plasma sheet boundary layer in the distant geomagnetic tail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, Yoshifumi; Mukai, Toshifumi; Terasawa, Toshio; Machida, Shinobu

    2004-04-01

    The detailed structure of ion velocity space distributions in the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) in the distant geomagnetic tail has been investigated. Three separate, tailward-streaming ion populations have been observed simultaneously in PSBL crossings in which the inner edge of the PSBL was identified as a slow mode shock: cold, low-energy, ions presumably of ionospheric origin that fill much of the tail lobes, and two more energetic populations. The more energetic of these latter populations, which was concentrated in the outer (lobe) layers of the PSBL, had a ``kidney bean'' shape. The less energetic population had a well-defined low-energy cutoff that decreased with increasing penetration into the PSBL from the lobe. The sources of these two populations may be cold lobe ions accelerated in the current sheet near the distant neutral line and plasma sheet ions that leak across the shock, respectively.

  14. Cluster electric current density measurements within a magnetic flux rope in the plasma sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, J. A.; Lepping, R. P.; Gjerloev, J.; Goldstein, M. L.; Fairfield, D. H.; Acuna, M. H.; Balogh, A.; Dunlop, M.; Kivelson, M. G.; Khurana, K.

    2003-01-01

    On August 22, 2001 all 4 Cluster spacecraft nearly simultaneously penetrated a magnetic flux rope in the tail. The flux rope encounter took place in the central plasma sheet, Beta(sub i) approx. 1-2, near the leading edge of a bursty bulk flow. The "time-of-flight" of the flux rope across the 4 spacecraft yielded V(sub x) approx. 700 km/s and a diameter of approx.1 R(sub e). The speed at which the flux rope moved over the spacecraft is in close agreement with the Cluster plasma measurements. The magnetic field profiles measured at each spacecraft were first modeled separately using the Lepping-Burlaga force-free flux rope model. The results indicated that the center of the flux rope passed northward (above) s/c 3, but southward (below) of s/c 1, 2 and 4. The peak electric currents along the central axis of the flux rope predicted by these single-s/c models were approx.15-19 nA/sq m. The 4-spacecraft Cluster magnetic field measurements provide a second means to determine the electric current density without any assumption regarding flux rope structure. The current profile determined using the curlometer technique was qualitatively similar to those determined by modeling the individual spacecraft magnetic field observations and yielded a peak current density of 17 nA/m2 near the central axis of the rope. However, the curlometer results also showed that the flux rope was not force-free with the component of the current density perpendicular to the magnetic field exceeding the parallel component over the forward half of the rope, perhaps due to the pressure gradients generated by the collision of the BBF with the inner magnetosphere. Hence, while the single-spacecraft models are very successful in fitting flux rope magnetic field and current variations, they do not provide a stringent test of the force-free condition.

  15. Current reduction in a pseudo-breakup event: THEMIS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Z. H.; Pu, Z. Y.; Owen, C. J.; Fu, S. Y.; Chu, X. N.; Liu, J.; Angelopoulos, V.; Rae, I. J.; Yue, C.; Zhou, X.-Z.; Zong, Q.-G.; Cao, X.; Shi, Q. Q.; Forsyth, C.; Du, A. M.

    2014-10-01

    Pseudo-breakup events are thought to be generated by the same physical processes as substorms. This paper reports on the cross-tail current reduction in an isolated pseudo-breakup observed by three of the THEMIS probes (THEMIS A (THA), THEMIS D (THD), and THEMIS E (THE)) on 22 March 2010. During this pseudo-breakup, several localized auroral intensifications were seen by ground-based observatories. Using the unique spatial configuration of the three THEMIS probes, we have estimated the inertial and diamagnetic currents in the near-Earth plasma sheet associated with flow braking and diversion. We found the diamagnetic current to be the major contributor to the current reduction in this pseudo-breakup event. During flow braking, the plasma pressure was reinforced, and a weak electrojet and an auroral intensification appeared. After flow braking/diversion, the electrojet was enhanced, and a new auroral intensification was seen. The peak current intensity of the electrojet estimated from ground-based magnetometers, ~0.7 × 105 A, was about 1 order of magnitude lower than that in a typical substorm. We suggest that this pseudo-breakup event involved two dynamical processes: a current-reduction associated with plasma compression ahead of the earthward flow and a current-disruption related to the flow braking/diversion. Both processes are closely connected to the fundamental interaction between fast flows, the near-Earth ambient plasma, and the magnetic field.

  16. Current Sheets in the Corona and the Complexity of Slow Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antiochos, Spiro

    2010-01-01

    The origin of the slow solar wind has long been one of the most important problems in solar/heliospheric physics. Two observational constraints make this problem especially challenging. First, the slow wind has the composition of the closed-field corona, unlike the fast wind that originates on open field lines. Second, the slow wind has substantial angular extent, of order 30 degrees, which is much larger than the widths observed for streamer stalks or the widths expected theoretically for a dynamic heliospheric current sheet. We propose that the slow wind originates from an intricate network of narrow (possibly singular) open-field corridors that emanate from the polar coronal hole regions. Using topological arguments, we show that these corridors must be ubiquitous in the solar corona. The total solar eclipse in August 2008, near the lowest point of cycle 23 affords an ideal opportunity to test this theory by using the ultra-high resolution Predictive Science's (PSI) eclipse model for the corona and wind. Analysis of the PSI eclipse model demonstrates that the extent and scales of the open-field corridors can account for both the angular width of the slow wind and its closed-field composition. We discuss the implications of our slow wind theory for the structure of the corona and heliosphere at solar minimum and describe further observational and theoretical tests.

  17. Repetitive formation and decay of current sheets in magnetic loops: An origin of diverse magnetic structures

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Dinesh; Bhattacharyya, R.; Smolarkiewicz, P. K.

    2015-01-15

    In this work, evolution of an incompressible, thermally homogeneous, infinitely conducting, viscous magnetofluid is numerically explored as the fluid undergoes repeated events of magnetic reconnection. The initial magnetic field is constructed by a superposition of two linear force-free fields and has similar morphology as the magnetic loops observed in the solar corona. The results are presented for computations with three distinct sets of footpoint geometries. To onset reconnection, we rely on numerical model magnetic diffusivity, in the spirit of implicit large eddy simulation. It is generally expected that in a high Lundquist number fluid, repeated magnetic reconnections are ubiquitous and hence can lead to a host of magnetic structures with considerable observational importance. In particular, the simulations presented here illustrate formations of magnetic islands, rotating magnetic helices and rising flux ropes—depending on the initial footpoint geometry but through the common process of repeated magnetic reconnections. Further, we observe the development of extended current sheets in two case studies, where the footpoint reconnections generate favorable dynamics.

  18. ASYMMETRIC SUNSPOT ACTIVITY AND THE SOUTHWARD DISPLACEMENT OF THE HELIOSPHERIC CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Y.-M.; Robbrecht, E. E-mail: eva.robbrecht@oma.be

    2011-08-01

    Observations of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) have suggested a statistical tendency for the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) to be shifted a few degrees southward of the heliographic equator during the period 1965-2010, particularly in the years near sunspot minimum. Using potential-field source-surface extrapolations and photospheric flux-transport simulations, we demonstrate that this southward displacement follows from Joy's law and the observed hemispheric asymmetry in the sunspot numbers, with activity being stronger in the southern (northern) hemisphere during the declining (rising) phase of cycles 20-23. The hemispheric asymmetry gives rise to an axisymmetric quadrupole field, whose equatorial zone has the sign of the leading-polarity flux in the dominant hemisphere; during the last four cycles, the polarity of the IMF around the equator thus tended to match that of the north polar field both before and after polar field reversal. However, large fluctuations are introduced by the nonaxisymmetric field components, which depend on the longitudinal distribution of sunspot activity in either hemisphere. Consistent with this model, the HCS showed an average northward displacement during cycle 19, when the 'usual' alternation was reversed and the northern hemisphere became far more active than the southern hemisphere during the declining phase of the cycle. We propose a new method for determining the north-south displacement of the HCS from coronal streamer observations.

  19. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.

    PubMed

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C A

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers. PMID:26580020

  20. Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritz, Catherine; Edwards, Tamsin L.; Durand, Gaël; Payne, Antony J.; Peyaud, Vincent; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lying on bedrock below sea level may be vulnerable to marine-ice-sheet instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence that MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE), which contains ice equivalent to more than a metre of global sea-level rise. If triggered in other regions, the centennial to millennial contribution could be several metres. Physically plausible projections are challenging: numerical models with sufficient spatial resolution to simulate grounding-line processes have been too computationally expensive to generate large ensembles for uncertainty assessment, and lower-resolution model projections rely on parameterizations that are only loosely constrained by present day changes. Here we project that the Antarctic ice sheet will contribute up to 30 cm sea-level equivalent by 2100 and 72 cm by 2200 (95% quantiles) where the ASE dominates. Our process-based, statistical approach gives skewed and complex probability distributions (single mode, 10 cm, at 2100; two modes, 49 cm and 6 cm, at 2200). The dependence of sliding on basal friction is a key unknown: nonlinear relationships favour higher contributions. Results are conditional on assessments of MISI risk on the basis of projected triggers under the climate scenario A1B (ref. 9), although sensitivity to these is limited by theoretical and topographical constraints on the rate and extent of ice loss. We find that contributions are restricted by a combination of these constraints, calibration with success in simulating observed ASE losses, and low assessed risk in some basins. Our assessment suggests that upper-bound estimates from low-resolution models and physical arguments (up to a metre by 2100 and around one and a half by 2200) are implausible under current understanding of physical mechanisms and potential triggers.

  1. Tearing mode in a neutral current sheet in a plasma flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gubchenko, V. M.

    1982-09-01

    The linear stage of the tearing mode is analyzed for a diffuse neutral current sheet in a plasma flow along the magnetic field. It follows from the dispersion characteristics derived that the flow tends to stabilize the tearing mode and gives rise to a drift phase velocity.

  2. Instability of current sheets with a localized accumulation of magnetic flux

    SciTech Connect

    Pritchett, P. L.

    2015-06-15

    The longstanding problem of whether a current sheet with curved magnetic field lines associated with a small “normal” B{sub z} component is stable is investigated using two-dimensional electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations, employing closed boundary conditions analogous to those normally assumed in energy principle calculations. Energy principle arguments [Sitnov and Schindler, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L08102 (2010)] have suggested that an accumulation of magnetic flux at the tailward end of a thin current sheet could produce a tearing instability. Two classes of such current sheet configurations are probed: one with a monotonically increasing B{sub z} profile and the other with a localized B{sub z} “hump.” The former is found to be stable (in 2D) over any reasonable time scale, while the latter is prone to an ideal-like instability that shifts the hump peak in the direction of the curvature normal and erodes the field on the opposite side. The growth rate of this instability is smaller by an order of magnitude than previous suggestions of an instability in an open system. An example is given that suggests that such an unstable hump configuration is unlikely to be produced by external driving of a current sheet with no B{sub z} accumulation even in the presence of open boundary conditions.

  3. MAGNETAR GIANT FLARES AND THEIR PRECURSORS-FLUX ROPE ERUPTIONS WITH CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Yu Cong

    2013-07-10

    We propose a catastrophic magnetospheric model for magnetar precursors and their successive giant flares. Axisymmetric models of the magnetosphere, which contain both a helically twisted flux rope and a current sheet, are established based on force-free field configurations. In this model, the helically twisted flux rope would lose its equilibrium and erupt abruptly in response to the slow and quasi-static variations at the ultra-strongly magnetized neutron star's surface. In a previous model without current sheets, only one critical point exists in the flux rope equilibrium curve. New features show up in the equilibrium curves for the flux rope when current sheets appear in the magnetosphere. The causal connection between the precursor and the giant flare, as well as the temporary re-entry of the quiescent state between the precursor and the giant flare, can be naturally explained. Magnetic energy would be released during the catastrophic state transitions. The detailed energetics of the model are also discussed. The current sheet created by the catastrophic loss of equilibrium of the flux rope provides an ideal place for magnetic reconnection. We point out the importance of magnetic reconnection for further enhancement of the energy release during eruptions.

  4. Global and local current sheet thickness estimates during the late growth phase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Mitchell, D. G.; Mcpherron, Robert L.; Huang, C. Y.; Frank, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    The thinning and intensification of the cross tail current sheet during the substorm growth phase are analyzed during the CDAW 6 substorm (22 Mar. 1979) using two complementary methods. The magnetic field and current sheet development are determined using data from two spacecraft and a global magnetic field model with several free parameters. These results are compared with the local calculation of the current sheet location and structure previously done by McPherron et al. Both methods lead to the conclusion that an extremely thin current sheet existed prior to the substorm onset, and the thicknesses estimated by the two methods at substorm onset agree relatively well. The plasma data from the ISEE 1 spacecraft at 13 R(sub E) show an anisotropy in the low energy electrons during the growth phase which disappears just before the substorm onset. The global magnetic model results suggest that the field is sufficiently stretched to scatter such low energy electrons. The strong stretching may improve the conditions for the growth of the ion tearing instability in the near Earth tail at substorm onset.

  5. Numerical study of the current sheet and PSBL in a magnetotail model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doxas, I.; Horton, W.; Sandusky, K.; Tajima, T.; Steinolfson, R.

    1989-01-01

    The current sheet and plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL) in a magnetotail model are discussed. A test particle code is used to study the response of ensembles of particles to a two-dimensional, time-dependent model of the geomagnetic tail, and test the proposition (Coroniti, 1985a, b; Buchner and Zelenyi, 1986; Chen and Palmadesso, 1986; Martin, 1986) that the stochasticity of the particle orbits in these fields is an important part of the physical mechanism for magnetospheric substorms. The realistic results obtained for the fluid moments of the particle distribution with this simple model, and their insensitivity to initial conditions, is consistent with this hypothesis.

  6. Observations of the Earth{close_quote}s Plasma Sheet at Geosynchronous Orbit

    SciTech Connect

    Thomsen, M.F.; Borovsky, J.E.; McComas, D.J.; Moldwin, M.B.

    1996-07-01

    Geosynchronous orbit typically lies within the near-Earth portion of the plasma sheet and its dayside extension. Los Alamos magnetospheric plasma analyzers (MPA) on three geosynchronous satellites routinely observe the plasma-sheet ion and electron distributions over the energy range of {approximately}1 eV to {approximately}40 keV. Based on these observations, we describe the typical appearance of the plasma sheet at synchronous altitude under both fairly steady and fairly active conditions. We also present a statistical analysis of the bulk properties (density temperature, and anisotropy) of the plasma sheet ion and electron populations, and we illustrate the dependence of these average properties on local time. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  7. Current sheet in plasma as a system with a controlling parameter

    SciTech Connect

    Fridman, Yu. A. Chukbar, K. V.

    2015-08-15

    A simple kinetic model describing stationary solutions with bifurcated and single-peaked current density profiles of a plane electron beam or current sheet in plasma is presented. A connection is established between the two-dimensional constructions arising in terms of the model and the one-dimensional considerations by Bernstein−Greene−Kruskal facilitating the reconstruction of the distribution function of trapped particles when both the profile of the electric potential and the free particles distribution function are known.

  8. Current sheet in plasma as a system with a controlling parameter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fridman, Yu. A.; Chukbar, K. V.

    2015-08-01

    A simple kinetic model describing stationary solutions with bifurcated and single-peaked current density profiles of a plane electron beam or current sheet in plasma is presented. A connection is established between the two-dimensional constructions arising in terms of the model and the one-dimensional considerations by Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal facilitating the reconstruction of the distribution function of trapped particles when both the profile of the electric potential and the free particles distribution function are known.

  9. Statistical and spectral properties of magnetic islands in reconnecting current sheets during two-ribbon flares

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Chengcai; Lin, Jun; Murphy, Nicholas A.; Raymond, John C.

    2013-07-15

    We perform a set of two dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations to study the reconnection process occurring in current sheets that develop during solar eruptions. Reconnection commences gradually and produces small-scale structures inside the current sheet, which has one end anchored to the bottom boundary and the other end open. The main features we study include plasmoids (or plasma blobs) flowing in the sheet, and X-points between pairs of adjacent islands. The statistical properties of the fine structure and the dependence of the spectral energy on these properties are examined. The flux and size distribution functions of plasmoids roughly follow inverse square power laws at large scales. The mass distribution function is steep at large scales and shallow at small scales. The size distribution also shows that plasmoids are highly asymmetric soon after being formed, while older plasmoids tend to be more circular. The spectral profiles of magnetic and kinetic energy inside the current sheet are both consistent with a power law. The corresponding spectral indices γ are found to vary with the magnetic Reynolds number R{sub m} of the system, but tend to approach a constant for large R{sub m} (>10{sup 5}). The motion and growth of blobs change the spectral index. The growth of new islands causes the power spectrum to steepen, but it becomes shallower when old and large plasmoids leave the computational domain.

  10. ISEE-1 and 2 observations of magnetic flux ropes in the magnetotail - FTE's in the plasma sheet?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Russell, C. T.; Cattell, C. A.; Takahasi, K.; Bame, S. J.

    1986-01-01

    Magnetic field observations on ISEE-1 and 2 in and near the neutral sheet about 20 Re down the near-earth magnetotail reveal the occurrence of structures resembling magnetic flux ropes. Both electric field and fast plasma data show that these structures convect across the spacecraft at speeds of 200 - 600 km/s, and that they have scale sizes of roughly 3 5 Re. The rope axis orientation is across the tail, approximately in the -Y GSM direction. Their magnetic structure is strikingly similar to magnetic flux ropes observed in the Venus ionosphere, and to flux transfer events observed at the dayside magnetopause. The total field-aligned current within these ropes may approach a million amps. These structures may arise because of patchy reconnection within the plasma sheet, or may be tearing islands formed when the plasma sheet magnetic field has a cross-tail component. Plasma sheet flux ropes are not a common feature at ISEE orbital altitudes; this suggests that near-earth neutral line formation within ISEE apogee (22 Re) may be equally rare.

  11. Kinetic electron bounce instability in a 2D current sheet - Implication for substorm dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruit, G.; Tur, A.; Louarn, P.

    2013-12-01

    In the general context of understanding the possible destabilization of the magnetotail before a substorm, we propose a kinetic model for electromagnetic ballooning-type instabilities in resonant interaction with trapped bouncing electrons in a 2D current sheet. Tur et al. 2010 and Fruit et al. 2013 already used this model to investigate the possibilities of electrostatic instabilities. Here, we generalize the model for full electromagnetic perturbations. Starting with a modified Harris sheet as equilibrium state, the linearized gyrokinetic Vlasov equation is solved for electromagnetic fluctuations with period of the order of the electron bounce period. The particle motion is restricted to its first Fourier component along the magnetic field and this allows the complete time integration of the non local perturbed distribution functions. The dispersion relation for electromagnetic modes is finally obtained through the quasineutrality condition and the Ampere's law for the current density. It is found that for mildly stretched current sheet (Bz > 0.1 Blobes) undamped and stable modes oscillate at typical electron bounce frequency with wavelength (in y) of the order of the plasma sheet thickness. As the stretching of the plasma sheet becomes more intense, the frequency of these normal modes decreases and beyond a certain threshold in epsilon=Bz/Blobes < 0.05 typically, the mode becomes explosive (pure imaginary frequency) with typical growing rate of a few tens of seconds. The free energy contained in the electron bouncing motion could thus trigger and drive an electromagnetic instability able to disrupt the cross-tail current in a few seconds. The role of the temperature ratio Te/Ti is also evaluated.

  12. Observing and modeling the California Current System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, A. J.; McWilliams, J. C.; Schneider, N.; Allen, J. S.; Barth, J. A.; Beardsley, R. C.; Chavez, F. P.; Chereskin, T. K.; Edwards, C. A.; Haney, R. L.; Kelly, K. A.; Kindle, J. C.; Ly, L. N.; Moisan, J. R.; Noble, M. A.; Niiler, P. P.; Oey, L. Y.; Schwing, F. B.; Shearman, R. K.; Swenson, M. S.

    The California Current System (CCS) is one of the best sampled ocean regions, yet it remains obscurely understood and inadequately sampled.Technological advances in ocean modeling and observational techniques can now change this situation.Enhanced understanding of the features and dynamics of the CCS can aid fisheries and wildlife management, prediction and abatement of pollution and toxic phytoplankton blooms, atmospheric and climate change forecasts, and shipping and military operations.

  13. Magnetic Reconnection: Recursive Current Sheet Collapse Triggered by “Ideal” Tearing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenerani, Anna; Velli, Marco; Rappazzo, Antonio Franco; Pucci, Fulvia

    2015-11-01

    We study, by means of MHD simulations, the onset and evolution of fast reconnection via the “ideal” tearing mode within a collapsing current sheet at high Lundquist numbers (S\\gg {10}4). We first confirm that as the collapse proceeds, fast reconnection is triggered well before a Sweet-Parker-type configuration can form: during the linear stage, plasmoids rapidly grow in a few Alfvén times when the predicted “ideal” tearing threshold S-1/3 is approached from above; after the linear phase of the initial instability, X-points collapse and reform nonlinearly. We show that these give rise to a hierarchy of tearing events repeating faster and faster on current sheets at ever smaller scales, corresponding to the triggering of “ideal” tearing at the renormalized Lundquist number. In resistive MHD, this process should end with the formation of sub-critical (S ≤ 104) Sweet-Parker sheets at microscopic scales. We present a simple model describing the nonlinear recursive evolution that explains the timescale of the disruption of the initial sheet.

  14. Pulsed high-energy γ-rays from thermal populations in the current sheets of pulsar winds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arka, I.; Dubus, G.

    2013-02-01

    Context. More than one hundred pulsars have been detected up to now at GeV energies by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi gamma-ray observatory. Current modelling proposes that the high-energy emission comes from outer magnetospheric gaps, but radiation from the equatorial current sheet that separates the two magnetic hemispheres outside the light cylinder has also been investigated. Aims: We discuss the region outside the light cylinder, the "near wind" zone. We investigate the possibility that synchrotron radiation emitted by thermal populations in the equatorial current sheet of the pulsar wind in this region can explain the lightcurves and spectra observed by Fermi/LAT. Methods: We used analytical estimates as well as detailed numerical computation to calculate the γ-ray luminosities, lightcurves, and spectra of γ-ray pulsars. Results: Many of the characteristics of the γ-ray pulsars observed by Fermi/LAT can be reproduced by our model, most notably the position of these objects in the P - Ṗ diagram, and the range of γ-ray luminosities. A testable result is a sub-exponential cutoff with an index b = 0.35. We also predict the existence of a population of pulsars with cutoff energies in the MeV range. These have systematically lower spindown luminosities than the Fermi/LAT-detected pulsars. Conclusions: It is possible for relativistic populations of electrons and positrons in the current sheet of a pulsar's wind immediately outside the light cylinder to emit synchrotron radiation that peaks in the sub-GeV to GeV regime, with γ-ray efficiencies similar to those observed for the Fermi/LAT pulsars.

  15. Multi-spacecraft analysis of local structure of Heliospheric Current Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrazola, D.; Blanco, Juan Jose; Rodriguez-Pacheco, Javier; Hidalgo, Miguel Angel; Medina, Jose

    Local variability of the Heliospheric Current Sheet (HCS) has been studied. Its local magnetic structure is observed as a boundary through which the magnetic field inverts its direction toward or away from Sun. In this work, we have used data from ACE, WIND, STEREO A and B spacecrafts. Solar wind features and magnetic field variations obtained from each spacecraft and for each event analyzed have been used to estimate temporal and spatial dependences in the local HCS structure. Their connection with the neutral line at the corona has been also determined. We have grouped the selected events according to their magnetic connection, with the aim of analyzing possible variations on the local orientation. Events studied cover from the ascending phase of solar cycle 23 to the next minimum around 2007. It has been observed that when spacecrafts are close to each other and/or magnetically well connected, clear variations on the local orientation are not observed. In these cases, the elapsed time was less than 2 hours. This fact could be interpreted as if there were not temporal variations on the local structure of the HCS in the range of 2 hours. On the other hand, the analysis shows that angular variation has a growing trend with elapsed time between different spacecraft. This can be related to the fact that spacecrafts are magnetically bad connected. In these cases, variations in local HCS orientation are observed. To evaluate changes of the HCS local orientations it has been used MVA, CVA and HYTARO methods. Results and future goals are summarized in this work.

  16. MODELING UV AND X-RAY EMISSION IN A POST-CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEET

    SciTech Connect

    Ko, Yuan-Kuen; Raymond, John C.; Vrsnak, Bojan; Vujic, Eugen

    2010-10-10

    A post-coronal mass ejection (CME) current sheet (CS) is a common feature developed behind an erupting flux rope in CME models. Observationally, white light observations have recorded many occurrences of a thin ray appearing behind a CME eruption that closely resembles a post-CME CS in its spatial correspondence and morphology. UV and X-ray observations further strengthen this interpretation by the observations of high-temperature emission at locations consistent with model predictions. The next question then becomes whether the properties inside a post-CME CS predicted by a model agree with observed properties. In this work, we assume that the post-CME CS is a consequence of Petschek-like reconnection and that the observed ray-like structure is bounded by a pair of slow mode shocks developed from the reconnection site. We perform time-dependent ionization calculations and model the UV line emission. We find that such a model is consistent with SOHO/UVCS observations of the post-CME CS. The change of Fe XVIII emission in one event implies an inflow speed of {approx}10 km s{sup -1} and a corresponding reconnection rate of M{sub A} {approx} 0.01. We calculate the expected X-ray emission for comparison with X-ray observations by Hinode/XRT, as well as the ionic charge states as would be measured in situ at 1 AU. We find that the predicted count rate for Hinode/XRT agrees with what was observed in a post-CME CS on 2008 April 9, and the predicted ionic charge states are consistent with high ionization states commonly measured in the interplanetary CMEs. The model results depend strongly on the physical parameters in the ambient corona, namely the coronal magnetic field, the electron density, and temperature during the CME event. It is crucial to obtain these ambient coronal parameters and as many facets of the CS properties as possible by observational means so that the post-CME CS models can be scrutinized more effectively.

  17. Annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet interpolated from historical and newly compiled observation data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shen, Dayong; Liu, Yuling; Huang, Shengli

    2012-01-01

    The estimation of ice/snow accumulation is of great significance in quantifying the mass balance of ice sheets and variation in water resources. Improving the accuracy and reducing uncertainty has been a challenge for the estimation of annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet. In this study, we kriged and analyzed the spatial pattern of accumulation based on an observation data series including 315 points used in a recent research, plus 101 ice cores and snow pits and newly compiled 23 coastal weather station data. The estimated annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet is 31.2 g cm−2 yr−1, with a standard error of 0.9 g cm−2 yr−1. The main differences between the improved map developed in this study and the recently published accumulation maps are in the coastal areas, especially southeast and southwest regions. The analysis of accumulations versus elevation reveals the distribution patterns of accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet.

  18. A model of the western Laurentide Ice Sheet, using observations of glacial isostatic adjustment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowan, Evan J.; Tregoning, Paul; Purcell, Anthony; Montillet, Jean-Philippe; McClusky, Simon

    2016-05-01

    We present the results of a new numerical model of the late glacial western Laurentide Ice Sheet, constrained by observations of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), including relative sea level indicators, uplift rates from permanent GPS stations, contemporary differential lake level change, and postglacial tilt of glacial lake level indicators. The later two datasets have been underutilized in previous GIA based ice sheet reconstructions. The ice sheet model, called NAICE, is constructed using simple ice physics on the basis of changing margin location and basal shear stress conditions in order to produce ice volumes required to match GIA. The model matches the majority of the observations, while maintaining a relatively realistic ice sheet geometry. Our model has a peak volume at 18,000 yr BP, with a dome located just east of Great Slave Lake with peak thickness of 4000 m, and surface elevation of 3500 m. The modelled ice volume loss between 16,000 and 14,000 yr BP amounts to about 7.5 m of sea level equivalent, which is consistent with the hypothesis that a large portion of Meltwater Pulse 1A was sourced from this part of the ice sheet. The southern part of the ice sheet was thin and had a low elevation profile. This model provides an accurate representation of ice thickness and paleo-topography, and can be used to assess present day uplift and infer past climate.

  19. Temporal evolution of a Current Sheet with Initial Finite Perturbations by Three-dimensional MHD Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokoyama, Takaaki

    Temporal evolution of a current sheet with initial perturbations is studied by using the threedimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations. The magnetic reconnection is considered to be the main engine of the energy rele ase in solar flares. The structure of the diffusion region is, however, not stil l understood under the circumstances with enormously large magnetic Reynolds num ber as the solar corona. In particular, the relationship between the flare's macroscopic physics and the microscopic ones are unclear. It is generally believed that the MHD turbulence s hould play a role in the intermediate scale. The initial current sheet is in an approximately hydromagnetic equilibrium with anti-parallel magnetic field in the y-direction. We imposed a finite-amplitude perturbations (=50ee what happens. Special attention is paid upon the evolution of a three-dimens ional structure in the direction along the initial electric current (z-direction ). Our preliminary results are as follows: (1) In the early phase of the evolut ion, high wavenumber modes in the z-direction are excited and grow. (2) Many "X "-type neutral points (lines) are generated along the magnetic neutral line (pla ne) in the current sheet. When they evolve into the non-linear phase, three-dime nsional structures in the z-direction also evolve. The spatial scale in the z-di rection seems to be almost comparable with that in the xy-plane. (3) The energy release rate is reduced in case of 3D simulations compared with 2D ones probably because of the reduction of the inflow cross sections by the formation of pattc hy structures in the current sheet.

  20. Energy dynamics and current sheet structure in fluid and kinetic simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Makwana, K. D. Cattaneo, F.; Zhdankin, V.; Li, H.; Daughton, W.

    2015-04-15

    Simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence are performed with a fluid and a kinetic code. The initial condition is an ensemble of long-wavelength, counter-propagating, shear-Alfvén waves, which interact and rapidly generate strong MHD turbulence. The total energy is conserved and the rate of turbulent energy decay is very similar in both codes, although the fluid code has numerical dissipation, whereas the kinetic code has kinetic dissipation. The inertial range power spectrum index is similar in both the codes. The fluid code shows a perpendicular wavenumber spectral slope of k{sub ⊥}{sup −1.3}. The kinetic code shows a spectral slope of k{sub ⊥}{sup −1.5} for smaller simulation domain, and k{sub ⊥}{sup −1.3} for larger domain. We estimate that collisionless damping mechanisms in the kinetic code can account for the dissipation of the observed nonlinear energy cascade. Current sheets are geometrically characterized. Their lengths and widths are in good agreement between the two codes. The length scales linearly with the driving scale of the turbulence. In the fluid code, their thickness is determined by the grid resolution as there is no explicit diffusivity. In the kinetic code, their thickness is very close to the skin-depth, irrespective of the grid resolution. This work shows that kinetic codes can reproduce the MHD inertial range dynamics at large scales, while at the same time capturing important kinetic physics at small scales.

  1. Distribution of Nanoflares as Spatially Resolved Current Sheets in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, C. S.; Lin, L.

    2014-05-01

    In a recent numerical study [Ng et al., Astrophys. J. 747, 109, 2012], based on a three-dimensional model of coronal heating using reduced magnetohydrodynamics, we have obtained scaling results of heating rate versus Lundquist number S based on a series of runs in which random photospheric motions are imposed for hundreds to thousands of Alfvén time in order to obtain converged statistical values. The heating rate found in these simulations saturates to a level that is independent of S in the high S limit and is consistent with the required level for coronal heating. In a previous study based on the total heating rate time series [Ng and Lin, AIP Conf. Proc. 1500, 38, 2012] in these simulations, we have also calculated heating events distributions, which are consistent with observations but do not support the nanoflares scenario [Parker, Astrophys. J. 330, 474, 1988]. This method has a limitation of not distinguishing individual heating events. We now extend this analysis to investigate the distribution of energy release events defined as spatially resolved current sheets [Lin et el., ASP Conf. Ser. 474, 159, 2013]. We report preliminary results and compare to results obtained using only time-series analysis.

  2. The neutral current sheet and its radiation pairs of side sources in coronal mass ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Shu-Chen

    Using the data observed with the soft X-ray telescope, hard X-ray telescope aboard on Yohkoh and the Nobeyama Radioheliograph on 1998 April 23, a comprehensive study on soft X-ray coronal mass ejection (SXRCME) and radio Type IV burst is carried out and some significant results are obtained as follows: A magnetic capacity belt (MCB) between two magnetic dipole sources (MDSs) was found and there were only a few activitation sources (ASs). During the MCB changed into a magnetic energy belt (MEB) by the ASs, activating energy and shining material both concentrated to the neutral current sheet (NCS) in the course of its formation. When two MDSs were put through by the MEB, the NCS formed and the SXRCME occurred. The matter ejected not only from the NCS, but also from the whole MEB. The expanding loop of the SXRCME had two foot points, both were just two MDSs. The head of the expanding loop always tended to the foot point of the weak source, because it was equilibrium point of magnetic pressures coming from two foot points. For this reason, its locus was neutral line. From this, the neutral line can also determine the position of NCS. Finally, the radiation pairs of side sources of NCS on the MEB are found.

  3. WKB approach to the problem of MHD shock propagation through the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uralova, S. V.; Uralov, A. M.

    1994-07-01

    The interplanetary shock wave front shape and intensity are calculated numerically by means of the Wentzel-Kramer-Brillouin (WKB)-approach, with nonlinear effects taken into account. The solar flare is modelled as an isotropic point explosion at the solar wind base. The heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is represented by a radially diverging stream with a higher plasma concentration and a lower wind speed. Fast magnetosonic shock wave propagation along the HCS is connected with the effect of regular accumulation of the wave energy in the vicinity of the HCS. In this place the wave intensity is increased, and the corresponding front fragments go ahead to form a shock-wave forerunner as a 'pimple'. The 'pimple', in turn, is located inside quite a large, but less-contrast, 'dimple' in the wave surface. This 'dimple' approximately coincides with the HCS stream contours. If the flare is outside the HCS boundaries, the picture discussed above is conserved, but asymmetry effects arise. Thus the interplanetary shock is stronger when the Earth's observer and the flare are on the same side of the HCS and is weaker in the opposite case.

  4. Effect of Inductive Coil Geometry and Current Sheet Trajectory of a Conical Theta Pinch Pulsed Inductive Plasma Accelerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hallock, Ashley K.; Polzin, Kurt A.; Bonds, Kevin W.; Emsellem, Gregory D.

    2011-01-01

    Results are presented demonstrating the e ect of inductive coil geometry and current sheet trajectory on the exhaust velocity of propellant in conical theta pinch pulsed induc- tive plasma accelerators. The electromagnetic coupling between the inductive coil of the accelerator and a plasma current sheet is simulated, substituting a conical copper frustum for the plasma. The variation of system inductance as a function of plasma position is obtained by displacing the simulated current sheet from the coil while measuring the total inductance of the coil. Four coils of differing geometries were employed, and the total inductance of each coil was measured as a function of the axial displacement of two sep- arate copper frusta both having the same cone angle and length as the coil but with one compressed to a smaller size relative to the coil. The measured relationship between total coil inductance and current sheet position closes a dynamical circuit model that is used to calculate the resulting current sheet velocity for various coil and current sheet con gura- tions. The results of this model, which neglects the pinching contribution to thrust, radial propellant con nement, and plume divergence, indicate that in a conical theta pinch ge- ometry current sheet pinching is detrimental to thruster performance, reducing the kinetic energy of the exhausting propellant by up to 50% (at the upper bound for the parameter range of the study). The decrease in exhaust velocity was larger for coils and simulated current sheets of smaller half cone angles. An upper bound for the pinching contribution to thrust is estimated for typical operating parameters. Measurements of coil inductance for three di erent current sheet pinching conditions are used to estimate the magnetic pressure as a function of current sheet radial compression. The gas-dynamic contribution to axial acceleration is also estimated and shown to not compensate for the decrease in axial electromagnetic acceleration

  5. CURRENT SHEET THINNING AND ENTROPY CONSTRAINTS DURING THE SUBSTORM GROWTH PHASE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otto, A.; Hall, F., IV

    2009-12-01

    A typical property during the growth phase of geomagnetic substorms is the thinning of the near-Earth current sheet, most pronounced in the region between 6 and 15 R_E. We propose that the cause for the current sheet thinning is convection from the midnight tail region to the dayside to replenish magnetospheric magnetic flux which is eroded at the dayside as a result of dayside reconnection. Adiabatic convection from the near-Earth tail region toward the dayside must conserve the entropy on magnetic field lines. This constraint prohibits a source of the magnetic flux from a region further out in the magnetotail. Thus the near-Earth tail region is increasingly depleted of magnetic flux (the Erickson and Wolf [1980] problem) with entropy matching that of flux tubes that are eroded on the dayside. It is proposed that the magnetic flux depletion in the near-Earth tail forces the formation of thin current layers. The process is documented by three-dimensional MHD simulations. It is shown that the simulations yield a time scale, location, and other general characteristics of the current sheet evolution during the substorm growth phase.

  6. Current NASA Earth Remote Sensing Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luvall, Jeffrey C.; Sprigg, William A.; Huete, Alfredo; Pejanovic, Goran; Nickovic, Slobodan; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo; Krapfl, Heide; Budge, Amy; Zelicoff, Alan; Myers, Orrin; Van de water, Peter K.; Levetin, Estelle; Crimmins, Theresa

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews current NASA Earth Remote Sensing observations in specific reference to improving public health information in view of pollen sensing. While pollen sampling has instrumentation, there are limitations, such as lack of stations, and reporting lag time. Therefore it is desirable use remote sensing to act as early warning system for public health reasons. The use of Juniper Pollen was chosen to test the possibility of using MODIS data and a dust transport model, Dust REgional Atmospheric Model (DREAM) to act as an early warning system.

  7. Particle Dynamics Discrimination Between Current Sheet Magnetic Field Reversal and Magnetic Neutral Line Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R. F., Jr.; Holland, D. L.; Svetich, J.

    2014-12-01

    We consider dynamical signatures of ion motion that discriminate between a current sheet magnetic field reversal and a magnetic neutral line field. These two related dynamical systems have been studied previously as chaotic scattering systems with application to the Earth's magnetotail. Both systems exhibit chaotic scattering over a wide range of parameter values. The structure and properties of their respective phase spaces have been used to elucidate potential dynamical signatures that affect spacecraft measured ion distributions. In this work we consider the problem of discrimination between these two magnetic structures using charged particle dynamics. For example we show that signatures based on the well known energy resonance in the current sheet field provide good discrimination since the resonance is not present in the neutral line case. While both fields can lead to fractal exit region structuring, their characteristics are different and also may provide some field discrimination. Application to magnetotail field and particle parameters will be presented

  8. The heliospheric current sheet and cosmic-ray transport in the heliosheath

    SciTech Connect

    Florinski, V.

    2012-05-21

    I propose a new mechanism of energetic particle transport in a heliosheath plasma that involves a tightly folded heliospheric current sheet. The distance between magnetic sectors of opposite polarity decreases with increasing heliocentric distance from the termination shock toward the heliopause, due to a slowdown of the flow of heliosheath plasma. If the sector width is comparable or smaller than the cyclotron radius of a galactic cosmic ray ion, the latter can efficiently traverse a stack of sectors via a drift-like or a diffusive mechanism. This mechanism could be responsible for record high intensities of galactic cosmic rays measured by Voyager 1 during 2010-2011. I also discuss the effects of the solar-cycle variations of the current sheet tilt for magnetic field topology in the vicinity of the heliopause and its implications for particle transport in that region.

  9. Instability of the current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail with normal magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Bessho, N.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2014-10-15

    Instability of a current sheet in the Earth's magnetotail has been investigated by two-dimensional fully kinetic simulations. Two types of magnetic configuration have been studied; those with uniform normal magnetic field along the current sheet and those in which the normal magnetic field has a spatial hump. The latter configuration has been proposed by Sitnov and Schindler [Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L08102 (2010)] as one in which ion tearing modes might grow. The first type of configuration exhibits electron tearing modes when the normal magnetic field is small. The second type of configuration exhibits an instability which does not tear or change the topology of magnetic field lines. The hump in the initial configuration can propagate Earthward in the nonlinear regime, leading to the formation of a dipolarization front. Secondary magnetic islands can form in regions where the normal magnetic field is very weak. Under no conditions do we find the ion tearing instability.

  10. The 3-D description of vertical current sheets with application to solar flares

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fontenla, Juan M.; Davis, J. M.

    1991-01-01

    Following a brief review of the processes which have been suggested for explaining the occurrence of solar flares we suggest a new scenario which builds on the achievements of the previous suggestion that the current sheets, which develop naturally in 3-D cases with gravity from impacting independent magnetic structures (i.e., approaching current systems), do not consist of horizontal currents but are instead predominantly vertical current systems. This suggestion is based on the fact that as the subphotospheric sources of the magnetic field displace the upper photosphere and lower chromosphere regions, where plasma beta is near unity, will experience predominantly horizontal mass motions which will lead to a distorted 3-D configurations of the magnetic field having stored free energy. In our scenario, a vertically flowing current sheet separates the plasma regions associated with either of the subphotospheric sources. This reflects the balanced tension of the two stressed fields which twist around each other. This leads naturally to a metastable or unstable situation as the twisted field emerges into a low beta region where vertical motions are not inhibited by gravity. In our flare scenario the impulsive energy release occurs, initially, not by reconnection but mainly by the rapid change of the magnetic field which has become unstable. During the impulsive phase the field lines contort in such way as to realign the electric current sheet into a minimum energy horizontal flow. This contortion produces very large electric fields which will accelerate particles. As the current evolves to a horizontal configuration the magnetic field expands vertically, which can be accompanied by eruptions of material. The instability of a horizontal current is well known and causes the magnetic field to undergo a rapid outward expansion. In our scenario, fast reconnection is not necessary to trigger the flare, however, slow reconnection would occur continuously in the current layer

  11. Three dimensional instabilities of an electron scale current sheet in collisionless magnetic reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Neeraj; Büchner, Jörg

    2014-06-15

    In collisionless magnetic reconnection, electron current sheets (ECS) with thickness of the order of an electron inertial length form embedded inside ion current sheets with thickness of the order of an ion inertial length. These ECS's are susceptible to a variety of instabilities which have the potential to affect the reconnection rate and/or the structure of reconnection. We carry out a three dimensional linear eigen mode stability analysis of electron shear flow driven instabilities of an electron scale current sheet using an electron-magnetohydrodynamic plasma model. The linear growth rate of the fastest unstable mode was found to drop with the thickness of the ECS. We show how the nature of the instability depends on the thickness of the ECS. As long as the half-thickness of the ECS is close to the electron inertial length, the fastest instability is that of a translational symmetric two-dimensional (no variations along flow direction) tearing mode. For an ECS half thickness sufficiently larger or smaller than the electron inertial length, the fastest mode is not a tearing mode any more and may have finite variations along the flow direction. Therefore, the generation of plasmoids in a nonlinear evolution of ECS is likely only when the half-thickness is close to an electron inertial length.

  12. Existence of Compressible Current-Vortex Sheets: Variable Coefficients Linear Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trakhinin, Yuri

    2005-09-01

    We study the initial-boundary value problem resulting from the linearization of the equations of ideal compressible magnetohydrodynamics and the Rankine-Hugoniot relations about an unsteady piecewise smooth solution. This solution is supposed to be a classical solution of the system of magnetohydrodynamics on either side of a surface of tangential discontinuity (current-vortex sheet). Under some assumptions on the unperturbed flow, we prove an energy a priori estimate for the linearized problem. Since the tangential discontinuity is characteristic, the functional setting is provided by the anisotropic weighted Sobolev space W21,σ. Despite the fact that the constant coefficients linearized problem does not meet the uniform Kreiss-Lopatinskii condition, the estimate we obtain is without loss of smoothness even for the variable coefficients problem and nonplanar current-vortex sheets. The result of this paper is a necessary step in proving the local-in-time existence of current-vortex sheet solutions of the nonlinear equations of magnetohydrodynamics.

  13. Instabilities of collisionless current sheets revisited: The role of anisotropic heating

    SciTech Connect

    Muñoz, P. A. Kilian, P. Büchner, J.

    2014-11-15

    In this work, we investigate the influence of the anisotropic heating on the spontaneous instability and evolution of thin Harris-type collisionless current sheets, embedded in antiparallel magnetic fields. In particular, we explore the influence of the macroparticle shape-function using a 2D version of the PIC code ACRONYM. We also investigate the role of the numerical collisionality due to the finite number of macroparticles in PIC codes. It is shown that it is appropriate to choose higher order shape functions of the macroparticles compared to a larger number of macroparticles per cell. This allows to estimate better the anisotropic electron heating due to the collisions of macroparticles in a PIC code. Temperature anisotropies can stabilize the tearing mode instability and trigger additional current sheet instabilities. We found a good agreement between the analytically derived threshold for the stabilization of the anisotropic tearing mode and other instabilities, either spontaneously developing or initially triggered ones. Numerical effects causing anisotropic heating at electron time scales become especially important for higher mass ratios (above m{sub i}/m{sub e}=180). If numerical effects are carefully taken into account, one can recover the theoretical estimated linear growth rates of the tearing instability of thin isotropic collisionless current sheets, also for higher mass ratios.

  14. Multiple Current Sheet Systems in the Outer Heliosphere: Energy Release and Turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgess, D.; Gingell, P. W.; Matteini, L.

    2016-05-01

    In the outer heliosphere, beyond the solar wind termination shock, it is expected that the warped heliospheric current sheet forms a region of closely packed, multiple, thin current sheets. Such a system may be subject to the ion-kinetic tearing instability, and hence may generate magnetic islands and hot populations of ions associated with magnetic reconnection. Reconnection processes in this environment have important implications for local particle transport, and for particle acceleration at reconnection sites and in turbulence. We study this complex environment by means of three-dimensional hybrid simulations over long timescales, in order to capture the evolution from linear growth of the tearing instability to a fully developed turbulent state at late times. The final state develops from the highly ordered initial state via both forward and inverse cascades. Component and spectral anisotropy in the magnetic fluctuations is present when a guide field is included. The inclusion of a population of newborn interstellar pickup protons does not strongly affect these results. Finally, we conclude that reconnection between multiple current sheets can act as an important source of turbulence in the outer heliosphere, with implications for energetic particle acceleration and propagation.

  15. Field Emission Properties of Carbon Nanotube Fibers and Sheets for a High Current Electron Source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christy, Larry

    Field emission (FE) properties of carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers from Rice University and the University of Cambridge have been studied for use within a high current electron source for a directed energy weapon. Upon reviewing the performance of these two prevalent CNT fibers, cathodes were designed with CNT fibers from the University of Cincinnati Nanoworld Laboratory. Cathodes composed of a single CNT fiber, an array of three CNT fibers, and a nonwoven CNT sheet were investigated for FE properties; the goal was to design a cathode with emission current in excess of 10 mA. Once the design phase was complete, the cathode samples were fabricated, characterized, and then analyzed to determine FE properties. Electrical conductivity of the CNT fibers was characterized with a 4-probe technique. FE characteristics were measured in an ultra-high vacuum chamber at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The arrayed CNT fiber and the enhanced nonwoven CNT sheet emitter design demonstrated the most promising FE properties. Future work will include further analysis and cathode design using this nonwoven CNT sheet material to increase peak current performance during electron emission.

  16. Nonlinear motion of non-uniform current-vortex sheets in MHD Richtmyer-Meshkov instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Chihiro; Nishihara, Katsunobu; Sano, Takayoshi

    2013-10-01

    When a supernova explosion occurs, materials that composed the star scatter in a high speed with a strong shock wave. These scattered materials, called ``supernova remnants'' (SNR), expand into the space and finally become a source in order to create new solar systems. It is known that SNR have a strong magnetic field compared to the surrounding interstellar medium; however, there exist few models to explain this extraordinary magnetic amplification mechanism in SNR. Here, we consider the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability in magnetohydrodynamic flows (MHD-RMI) and construct a model in order to describe the magnetic amplification in SNR. Due to the existence of the density jump, the tangential component of the magnetic field between the interface is different; therefore, the interface in MHD-RMI becomes a (non-uniform) current-vortex sheet. In this study, we investigate motion of this current-vortex sheet using the vortex blob method. We show that the current induced on a vortex sheet leads to a strong amplification of the magnetic field when the Lorenz force term is sufficiently small, and present various interfacial profiles depending on the magnitude of the Atwood number and Lorenz force. This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

  17. Current Sheet Statistics in Three-Dimensional Simulations of Coronal Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, L.; Ng, C. S.; Bhattacharjee, A.

    2013-04-01

    In a recent numerical study [Ng et al., Astrophys. J. 747, 109, 2012], with a three-dimensional model of coronal heating using reduced magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD), we have obtained scaling results of heating rate versus Lundquist number based on a series of runs in which random photospheric motions are imposed for hundreds to thousands of Alfvén time in order to obtain converged statistical values. The heating rate found in these simulations saturate to a level that is independent of the Lundquist number. This scaling result was also supported by an analysis with the assumption of the Sweet-Parker scaling of the current sheets, as well as how the width, length and number of current sheets scale with Lundquist number. In order to test these assumptions, we have implemented an automated routine to analyze thousands of current sheets in these simulations and return statistical scalings for these quantities. It is found that the Sweet-Parker scaling is justified. However, some discrepancies are also found and require further study.

  18. Variation of cosmic rays and solar wind properties with respect to the heliospheric current sheet. II - Rigidity dependence of the latitudinal gradient of cosmic rays at 1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newkirk, G., Jr.; Asbridge, J.; Lockwood, J. A.; Garcia-Munoz, M.; Simpson, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    The role which empirical determinations of the latitudinal variation of cosmic rays with respect to the current sheet may have in illuminating the importance of the cross-field drift of particles in the large-scale heliospheric magnetic field is discussed. Using K coronameter observations and measured solar wind speeds, the latitudinal gradients have been determined with respect to the current sheet for cosmic rays in four rigidity ranges. Gradients vary between approximately -2 and -50 pct/AU. The rigidity dependence of the decrease of cosmic ray flux with distance from the current sheet lies between the -0.72 to -0.86 power of the rigidity, with the exact dependence being determined by the definition used for the median rigidity of each monitor.

  19. CURRENT SHEET REGULATION OF SOLAR NEAR-RELATIVISTIC ELECTRON INJECTION HISTORIES

    SciTech Connect

    Agueda, N.; Sanahuja, B.; Vainio, R.; Dalla, S.; Lario, D.

    2013-03-10

    We present a sample of three large near-relativistic (>50 keV) electron events observed in 2001 by both the ACE and the Ulysses spacecraft, when Ulysses was at high-northern latitudes (>60 Degree-Sign ) and close to 2 AU. Despite the large latitudinal distance between the two spacecraft, electrons injected near the Sun reached both heliospheric locations. All three events were associated with large solar flares, strong decametric type II radio bursts and accompanied by wide (>212 Degree-Sign ) and fast (>1400 km s{sup -1}) coronal mass ejections (CMEs). We use advanced interplanetary transport simulations and make use of the directional intensities observed in situ by the spacecraft to infer the electron injection profile close to the Sun and the interplanetary transport conditions at both low and high latitudes. For the three selected events, we find similar interplanetary transport conditions at different heliolatitudes for a given event, with values of the mean free path ranging from 0.04 AU to 0.27 AU. We find differences in the injection profiles inferred for each spacecraft. We investigate the role that sector boundaries of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) have on determining the characteristics of the electron injection profiles. Extended injection profiles, associated with coronal shocks, are found if the magnetic footpoints of the spacecraft lay in the same magnetic sector as the associated flare, while intermittent sparse injection episodes appear when the spacecraft footpoints are in the opposite sector or a wrap in the HCS bounded the CME structure.

  20. Structured plasma sheet thinning observed by Galileo and 1984-129

    SciTech Connect

    Reeves, G.D.; Belian, R.D.; Fritz, T.A.

    1993-12-01

    On December 8, 1990, the Galileo spacecraft used the Earth for a gravity assist on its way to Jupiter. Its trajectory was such that is crossed geosynchronous orbit at approximately local midnight between 1900 and 2000 UT. At the same time, spacecraft 1984-129 was also located at geosynchronous orbit near local midnight. Several flux dropout events were observed when the two spacecraft were in the near-Earth plasma sheet in the same local time sector. Flux dropout events are associated with plasma sheet thinning in the near-Earth tail during the growth phase of substorms. This period is unique in that Galileo provided a rapid radial profile of the near-Earth plasma sheet while 1984-129 provided an azimuthal profile. With measurements from these two spacecraft the authors can distinguish between spatial structures and temporal changes. Their observations confirm that the geosynchronous flux dropout events are consistent with plasma sheet thinning which changes the spacecraft`s magnetic connection from the trapping region to the more distant plasma sheet. However, for this period, thinning occurred on two spatial and temporal scales. The geosynchronous dropouts were highly localized phenomena of 30 min duration superimposed on a more global reconfiguration of the tail lasting approximately 4 hours. 28 refs., 10 figs.

  1. Structured plasma sheet thinning observed by Galileo and 1984-129

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reeves, G. D.; Belian, R. D.; Fritz, T. A.; Kivelson, M. G.; Mcentire, R. W.; Roelof, E. C.; Wilken, B.; Williams, D. J.

    1993-01-01

    On December 8, 1990, the Galileo spacecraft used the Earth for a gravity assist on its way to Jupiter. Its trajectory was such that it crossed geosynchronous orbit at approximately local midnight between 1900 and 2000 UT. At the same time, spacecraft 1984-129 was also located at geosynchronous orbit near local midnight. Several flux dropout events were observed when the two spacecraft were in the near-Earth plasma sheet in the same local time sector. Flux dropout events are associated with plasma sheet thinning in the near-profile of the near-Earth plasma sheet while 1984-129 provided an azimuthal profile. With measurements from these two spacecraft we can distinguish between spatial structures and temporal change. Our observations confirm that the geosynchronous flux dropout events are consistent with plasma sheet thinning which changes the spacecraft's magnetic connection from the trapping region to the more distant plasma sheet. However, for this period, thinning occurred on two spatial and temporal scales. The geosynchronous dropouts were highly localized phenomena of 30 min duration superimposed on a more global reconfiguration of the tail lasting approximately 4 hours.

  2. Survey of Galileo plasma observations in Jupiter's plasma sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, Fran; Wilson, Robert J.; Siler, Scott; Paterson, William R.; Kurth, William S.

    2016-05-01

    The plasma science (PLS) instrument on the Galileo spacecraft (orbiting Jupiter from December 1995 to September 2003) measured properties of the ions that were trapped in the magnetic field. The PLS data provide a survey of the plasma properties between ~5 and 30 Jupiter radii (RJ) in the equatorial region. We present plasma properties derived via two analysis methods: numerical moments and forward modeling. We find that the density decreases with radial distance by nearly 5 orders of magnitude from ~2 to 3000 cm-3 at 6 RJ to ~0.05 cm-3 at 30 RJ. The density profile did not show major changes from orbit to orbit, suggesting that the plasma production and transport remained constant within about a factor of 2. The radial profile of ion temperature increased with distance which implied that contrary to the concept of adiabatic cooling on expansion, the plasma heats up as it expands out from Io's orbit (where Ti ~ 60-80 eV) at ~6 RJ to a few keV at 30 RJ. There does not seem to be a long-term, systematic variation in ion temperature with either local time or longitude. This latter finding differs from earlier analysis of Galileo PLS data from a selection of orbits. Further examination of all data from all Galileo orbits suggests that System III variations are transitory on timescales of weeks, consistent with the modeling of Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph observations. The plasma flow is dominated by azimuthal flow that is between 80% and 100% of corotation out to 25 RJ.

  3. Sweet's mechanism in the solar wind. [magnetic field dissipation near current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlaga, L. F.; Scudder, J. D.

    1974-01-01

    Sweet (1956, 1958) proposed a mechanism for the rapid, steady-state dissipation of a magnetic field in a resistive plasma. It is shown that Sweet's mechanism operates in the interplanetary medium near 1 AU in structures which Burlaga and Ness (1968) have identified and called D-sheets. The basic equations are considered of a specific mathematical model provided by Parker (1963) for the case of antiparallel fields and incompressible flow. The theoretical conclusions are related to interplanetary observations.

  4. The equatorial current sheet and other interesting features of the pulsar magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contopoulos, Ioannis

    2016-06-01

    > We want to understand what drives magnetospheric dissipation in the equatorial current sheet. Numerical simulations have limitations and, unless we have a clear a priori understanding of the physical processes involved, their results can be misleading. We argue that the canonical pulsar magnetosphere is strongly dissipative and that a large fraction (up to 30-40 % in an aligned rotator) of the spindown luminosity is redirected towards the equator where it is dissipated into particle acceleration and emission of radiation. We show that this is due to the failure of the equatorial electric current to cross the Y-point at the tip of the corotating zone.

  5. Formation of sheet plumes, current coils, and helical magnetic fields in a spherical magnetohydrodynamic dynamo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyagoshi, Takehiro; Kageyama, Akira; Sato, Tetsuya

    2011-07-01

    Aiming at understanding of magnetic field generation process in rapidly rotating stars and planets represented by the Earth, computer simulations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) dynamo were performed in a rotating spherical shell geometry. Thermal convection and dynamo process with Ekman number of the order of 10-7 were studied. New structures of convection motion, dynamo-generated electrical current, and magnetic field are found. The flow is organized as a set of thin, sheet-like plumes. The current is made of small-scale coil structure with magnetic flux tubes within each of the coil. These flux tubes are connected each other to form a large scale helical magnetic field structure.

  6. Thin current sheets in the magnetotail during substorms: CDAW 6 revisited

    SciTech Connect

    Pulkkinen, T.I.; Baker, D.N.; Mitchell, D.G.

    1994-04-01

    The global magnetic field configuration during the growth phase of the CDAW 6 substorm is modeled using data from two suitably located spacecraft and temporally evolving variations of the Ysyganenko magnetic field model. These results are compared with a local calculation of the current sheet location and thickness carried out by McPherron et al. and Sanney et al. Both models suggest that during the growth phase the current sheet rotated away from its nominal location, and simultaneously thinned strongly. The locations and thicknesses obtained from the two models are in good agreement. The global model suggests that the peak current density is {approximately}120 nA/m{sup 2}, and that the cross-tail current almost doubled its intensity during this very strong growth phase. The global model predicts a field configuration that is sufficiently stretched to scatter thermal electrons, which may be conducive to the onset of ion tearing in the tail. The electron plasma data further support this scenario, as the anisotropy present in the low-energy electrons disappears close to the substorm onset. The electron contribution to the intensifying current in this case is of the order of 10% before the isotropization of the distribution. 23 refs., 6 figs.

  7. Thin current sheets in the magnetotail during substorms: CDAW 6 revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pulkkinen, T. I.; Baker, D. N.; Mitchell, D. G.; Mcpherron, R. L.; Huang, C. Y.; Frank, L. A.

    1994-01-01

    The global magnetic field configuration during the growth phase of the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) 6 substorm (March 22, 1979, 1054 UT) is modeled using data from two suitably located spacecraft and temporally evolving variations of the Tsyganenko magnetic field model. These results are compared with a local calculation of the current sheet location and thickness carried out by McPherron et al. (1987) and Sanny et al. (this issue). Both models suggest that during the growth phase the current sheet rotated away from its nominal location, and simultaneously thinned strongly. The locations and thickness obtained from the two models are in good agreement. The global model suggests that the peak current density is approximately 120 nA/sq m and that the cross-tail current almost doubled its intensity during this very strong growth phase. The global model predicts a field configuration that is sufficiently stretched to scatter thermal electrons, which may be conducive to the onset of ion tearing in the tail. The electron plasma data further support this scenario, as the anisotropy present in the low-energy electrons disappears close to the substorm onset. The electron contribution to the intensifying current in this case is of the order of 10% before the isotropization of the distribution.

  8. The Role of Plasma Sheet Conditions in Ring Current Formation and Energetic Neutral Atom Emissions: TWINS Results and CRCM Comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fok, M.; Buzulukova, N.; McComas, D.; Brandt, P.; Goldstein, J.; Valek, P.; Alquiza, J.

    2009-05-01

    The dynamics of the ring current is sensitive to plasma sheet density and temperature. The situation is further complicated by ionospheric feedback and the existence of electric shielding at low latitudes. Most of the ring current pressure is carried by ions with energies of ~5-50 keV. In this energy range, H-H+ charge exchange cross section falls sharply with increasing energy. As a result, the intensity of energetic neutral atoms (ENA) emitted from the ring current is very sensitive to the ion energy distribution, which, in turn, is controlled by the plasma sheet temperature. Using the Comprehensive Ring Current Model (CRCM) with different plasma sheet models, we calculate ENA emissions during several moderate storms in years 2008 and 2009. We compare the simulated images with those from the TWINS imagers and study the effects of plasma sheet conditions on the ring current and the associated ENA emissions.

  9. Observations of Birkeland currents. [effects on auroras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cloutier, P. A.; Anderson, H. R.

    1975-01-01

    Recent measurements of precipitating energetic particles and vector magnetic fields from satellites and sounding rockets have verified the existence of geomagnetically-aligned electric currents at high latitudes in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. The spatial and temporal configuration of such currents, now commonly called Birkeland currents, has delineated their role in providing ionospheric closure of magnetospheric current systems, and gross features of these current systems may be understood in terms of theoretical models of magnetospheric convection. The association of Birkeland currents with auroral features on a very small scale suggests that auroral acceleration may result from the current flow.

  10. Destabilization of 2D magnetic current sheets by resonance with bouncing electron - a new theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruit, Gabriel; Louarn, Philippe; Tur, Anatoly

    2016-07-01

    In the general context of understanding the possible destabilization of the magnetotail before a substorm, we propose a kinetic model for electromagnetic instabilities in resonant interaction with trapped bouncing electrons. The geometry is clearly 2D and uses Harris sheet profile. Fruit et al. 2013 already used this model to investigate the possibilities of electrostatic instabilities. Tur et al. 2014 generalizes the model for full electromagnetic perturbations. Starting with a modified Harris sheet as equilibrium state, the linearized gyrokinetic Vlasov equation is solved for electromagnetic fluctuations with period of the order of the electron bounce period (a few seconds). The particle motion is restricted to its first Fourier component along the magnetic field and this allows the complete time integration of the non local perturbed distribution functions. The dispersion relation for electromagnetic modes is finally obtained through the quasi neutrality condition and the Ampere's law for the current density. The present talk will focus on the main results of this theory. The electrostatic version of the model may be applied to the near-Earth environment (8-12 R_{E}) where beta is rather low. It is showed that inclusion of bouncing electron motion may enhance strongly the growth rate of the classical drift wave instability. This model could thus explain the generation of strong parallel electric fields in the ionosphere and the formation of aurora beads with wavelength of a few hundreds of km. In the electromagnetic version, it is found that for mildly stretched current sheet (B_{z} > 0.1 B _{lobes}) undamped modes oscillate at typical electron bounce frequency with wavelength of the order of the plasma sheet thickness. As the stretching of the plasma sheet becomes more intense, the frequency of these normal modes decreases and beyond a certain threshold in B_{z}/B _{lobes}, the mode becomes explosive (pure imaginary frequency) with typical growing rate of a few

  11. Modelling the Laurentide Ice Sheet using improved ice margin chronologies and glacio-isostatic observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gowan, Evan; Tregoning, Paul; Purcell, Anthony; Lambeck, Kurt

    2013-04-01

    Creating models of the Laurentide ice sheet is challenging, due to the deficiency of chronological constraints and the uneven spatial resolution of data to determine the evolution of the glacio-isostatic response after deglaciation. Previous models relied on uncalibrated radiocarbon constrained margins that proved to have deficiencies in recent studies. Additionally, many recent Laurentide ice sheet models have been developed by incorporating climatic parameters that are poorly resolved for the late glacial period. We present a new ice sheet model by an iterative process of changing basal shear stress values and ice sheet margin location. A particular focus of this study is to determine the thickness and extent of the western Laurentide ice sheet, where there were few well dated observations of glacio-isostatic motion until recently. The volume of an ice sheet during long periods depends mostly on basal shear stress and margin position, which are the main parameters that we vary to fit our model to glacio-isostatic observations. We build our ice model using the assumption of perfectly plastic, steady-state conditions, with variable basal shear stress. Basal shear stress values depend on the surficial geology underlying the ice, and are at a minimum in offshore regions that have soft, deformable sediments, and at a maximum in areas with exposed crystalline bedrock. This approach may not capture dynamic and short lived features of the ice sheet, such as ice streams and stagnant ice, but gives an approximation of average conditions to produce ice volumes that fit geophysical observations. We adjust the margin location when the shear stress conditions alone cannot account for the observed glacio-isostatic response. The constraints on the response include relative sea level benchmarks, sea level highstand positions and proglacial lakes. We repeat the analysis using different rheological profiles to determine the dependence the Earth model has on the estimation of ice

  12. Note: Experimental observation of nano-channel pattern in light sheet laser interference nanolithography system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohan, Kavya; Mondal, Partha Pratim

    2016-06-01

    We experimentally observed nano-channel-like pattern in a light-sheet based interference nanolithography system. The optical system created nano-channel-like patterned illumination. Coherent counter-propagating light sheets are made to interfere at and near geometrical focus along the propagation z-axis. This results in the formation of nano-channel-like pattern (of size ≈ 300 nm and inter-channel periodicity of ≈337.5 nm) inside the sample due to constructive and destructive interference. In addition, the technique has the ability to generate large area patterning using larger light-sheets. Exciting applications are in the broad field of nanotechnology (nano-electronics and nano-fluidics).

  13. Energy dynamics and current sheet structure in fluid and kinetic simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Makwana, K. D.; Zhdankin, V.; Li, H.; Daughton, W.; Cattaneo, F.

    2015-04-10

    We performed simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence with a fluid and a kinetic code. The initial condition is an ensemble of long-wavelength, counter-propagating, shear-Alfvén waves, which interact and rapidly generate strong MHD turbulence. The total energy is conserved and the rate of turbulent energy decay is very similar in both codes, although the fluid code has numerical dissipation, whereas the kinetic code has kinetic dissipation. The inertial range power spectrum index is similar in both the codes. The fluid code shows a perpendicular wavenumber spectral slope of k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3. The kinetic code shows a spectral slope of k-1.5⊥k⊥-1.5 for smallermore » simulation domain, and k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3 for larger domain. We then estimate that collisionless damping mechanisms in the kinetic code can account for the dissipation of the observed nonlinear energy cascade. Current sheets are geometrically characterized. Their lengths and widths are in good agreement between the two codes. The length scales linearly with the driving scale of the turbulence. In the fluid code, their thickness is determined by the grid resolution as there is no explicit diffusivity. In the kinetic code, their thickness is very close to the skin-depth, irrespective of the grid resolution. Finally, this work shows that kinetic codes can reproduce the MHD inertial range dynamics at large scales, while at the same time capturing important kinetic physics at small scales.« less

  14. Energy dynamics and current sheet structure in fluid and kinetic simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic turbulence

    SciTech Connect

    Makwana, K. D.; Zhdankin, V.; Li, H.; Daughton, W.; Cattaneo, F.

    2015-04-10

    We performed simulations of decaying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence with a fluid and a kinetic code. The initial condition is an ensemble of long-wavelength, counter-propagating, shear-Alfvén waves, which interact and rapidly generate strong MHD turbulence. The total energy is conserved and the rate of turbulent energy decay is very similar in both codes, although the fluid code has numerical dissipation, whereas the kinetic code has kinetic dissipation. The inertial range power spectrum index is similar in both the codes. The fluid code shows a perpendicular wavenumber spectral slope of k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3. The kinetic code shows a spectral slope of k-1.5⊥k⊥-1.5 for smaller simulation domain, and k-1.3⊥k⊥-1.3 for larger domain. We then estimate that collisionless damping mechanisms in the kinetic code can account for the dissipation of the observed nonlinear energy cascade. Current sheets are geometrically characterized. Their lengths and widths are in good agreement between the two codes. The length scales linearly with the driving scale of the turbulence. In the fluid code, their thickness is determined by the grid resolution as there is no explicit diffusivity. In the kinetic code, their thickness is very close to the skin-depth, irrespective of the grid resolution. Finally, this work shows that kinetic codes can reproduce the MHD inertial range dynamics at large scales, while at the same time capturing important kinetic physics at small scales.

  15. Magnetar giant flares in multipolar magnetic fields. II. Flux rope eruptions with current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Lei; Yu, Cong E-mail: cyu@ynao.ac.cn

    2014-11-20

    We propose a physical mechanism to explain giant flares and radio afterglows in terms of a magnetospheric model containing both a helically twisted flux rope and a current sheet (CS). With the appearance of a CS, we solve a mixed boundary value problem to get the magnetospheric field based on a domain decomposition method. We investigate properties of the equilibrium curve of the flux rope when the CS is present in background multipolar fields. In response to the variations at the magnetar surface, it quasi-statically evolves in stable equilibrium states. The loss of equilibrium occurs at a critical point and, beyond that point, it erupts catastrophically. New features show up when the CS is considered. In particular, we find two kinds of physical behaviors, i.e., catastrophic state transition and catastrophic escape. Magnetic energy would be released during state transitions. This released magnetic energy is sufficient to drive giant flares, and the flux rope would, therefore, go away from the magnetar quasi-statically, which is inconsistent with the radio afterglow. Fortunately, in the latter case, i.e., the catastrophic escape, the flux rope could escape the magnetar and go to infinity in a dynamical way. This is more consistent with radio afterglow observations of giant flares. We find that the minor radius of the flux rope has important implications for its eruption. Flux ropes with larger minor radii are more prone to erupt. We stress that the CS provides an ideal place for magnetic reconnection, which would further enhance the energy release during eruptions.

  16. Investigation of Greenland Russell glacier with remote sensing observations and ice sheet/hydrodynamic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Hyewon; Kim, Jungrack; Tsai, YaLun; Lin, ShihYuan; Choi, Yunsoo

    2016-04-01

    There is great interest in the mechanism and consequences of arctic ice sheet migration in the context of worldwide climate change. An in-depth investigation of glacial movement involving supra/under glacial hydrological channel activities is key to understanding the acceleration of Greenland's ice sheet changes and needs to be established as an integrated model. In terms of the glacial migration involving basal hydrology, we have conducted a case study over the Russell glacier in western Greenland. Remote sensed image analyses combined with a numerical model in its melt water outflow channels, such as the Akuliarusiarsuup Kuua and Qinnguata Kuussua rivers, and ice sheet simulations were performed. Employed technical approaches are summarized as follows: 1) Collecting 3D migration vectors combining differential interferometric SAR (D-InSAR) analysis, together with the in-house pixel tracking method employing optical flow and sub-pixel refinement with C band Sentinel-1 and L band ALOS PALSAR-2 images; 2) a 2D hydrodynamic simulation based on the channel bathymetry, which was driven from calibrated LANDSAT images together with along-track stereo DTM, and 3) an ice sheet model to extract the bedrock and basal characteristics of the glaciers. In addition, we tried Sentinel-1 InSAR time series to monitor ice sheet migrations over a certain time domain. The results revealed the importance of hydrological channel morphology as a governing factor over migration speeds of glaciers. Specifically, the sub glacial processes and underlying morphology traced by remote sensing observation and the numerical model were correlated with the observed local migration speeds in terminus of the Russell glacier. Those experiences naturally will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the processes of artic glaciers. Thus, based on the output of this study, the proposed method will be extended to tackle the issues of ice sheet change occurring in the Greenland costal area

  17. The Onset of Magnetic Reconnection: Tearing Instability in Current Sheets with a Guide Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daldorff, Lars K. S.; Klimchuk, James A.

    2016-05-01

    Magnetic reconnection is fundamental to many solar phenomena, ranging from coronal heating, to jets, to flares and CMEs. A poorly understood yet crucial aspect of reconnection is that it does not occur until magnetic stresses have built to sufficiently high levels for significant energy release. If reconnection were to happen too soon, coronal heating would be weak and flares would be small. As part of our program to study the onset conditions for magnetic reconnection, we have investigated the instability of current sheets to tearing. Surprisingly little work has been done on this problem for sheets that include a guide field, i.e., for which the field rotates by less than 180 degrees. This is the most common situation on the Sun. We present numerical 3D resistive MHD simulations of several sheets and show how the behaviour depends on the shear angle (rotation). We compare our results to the predictions of linear theory and discuss the nonlinear evolution in terms of plasmoid formation and the interaction of different oblique tearing modes. The relevance to the Sun is explained.

  18. Differential measurement and model calculations of cosmic ray latitudinal gradient with respect to the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christon, S. P.; Cummings, A. C.; Stone, E. C.; Behannon, K. W.; Burlaga, L. F.

    1986-01-01

    Simultaneous magnetic field and charged particle measurements from the Voyager spacecraft with heliographic latitude separations of more than 10 deg are used to investigate the distribution of about 1-GeV galactic cosmic ray protons with respect to the heliospheric current sheet in the outer solar system. By comparing the ratio of cosmic ray flux at Voyager 1 to that at Voyager 2 during periods of relatively quiet interplanetary conditions when the spacecraft are either both north or both south of the heliospheric current sheet, an average latitude component of the gradient of the cosmic ray flux on opposite sides of the current sheet is derived under restricted interplanetary conditions of -0.22 + or - 0.03 pct/deg, equivalent to a decrease of about 1 percent/AU away from the current sheet at about 12 AU. The results for these limited periods are in qualitative agreement with propagation models incorporating particle drifts.

  19. Sub-Proton Scale Magnetic Holes: Turbulence Simulations, Theory and Cluster Observations in the Earth's Plasma Sheet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haynes, C. T.; Burgess, D.; Camporeale, E.; Sundberg, T.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate the properties of a new type of nonlinear coherent structure, called electron vortex magnetic holes (EVMHs) discovered during 2-D full particle realistic mass ratio simulations of turbulence. These structures form via the interaction of magnetic depletions and the local electron population in the plasma. They are characterised by local depressions in the magnetic field strength with circular cross-sections. We use PIC and test particle simulations to show that the magnetic structure is maintained by a current carried by an electron vortex which is due to a population of electrons with pitch angles close to 90 degrees in trapped, or quasi-trapped, non-adiabatic orbits. We then compare these results to Cluster observations of electron-scale magnetic holes (MH) in the Earth's plasma sheet. MHs in the solar wind are often explained in terms of the mirror mode instability. Here, in the plasma sheet, we show MH events in mirror stable environments, with high electron perpendicular temperature anisotropy, which cannot be explained in terms of a standard mirror mode growth. We show that EVMHs may provide a theoretical explanation for a majority of the MHs observed in the plasma sheet at scales less than the proton thermal gyroradius.

  20. Three-dimensional stability of thin quasi-neutral current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pritchett, P. L.; Coroniti, F. V.; Decyk, V. K.

    1996-12-01

    In a thin current sheet (ρi0/L<~1, where ρi0 is the ion gyroradius in the lobe field and L is the current sheet half thickness) of the generalized Harris type, the relative ion-electron cross-field drift is comparable to the ion thermal velocity. The three-dimensional stability properties of such a thin current sheet are investigated by means of nonlocal two-fluid theory and two-dimensional and three-dimensional full particle simulations. As was suggested originally by Zhu et al. [1992], the drift kink mode is found to be of critical importance. For the simple case of no initial Bz field the fluid theory demonstrates that the drift kink mode is a non-MHD mode with a polarization structure such that E1y is an antisymmetric function of z while E1z is a symmetric function with E1z(0)≠0. Two-dimensional (y,z) particle simulations indicate that the nonlinear behavior of this mode is dominated by long-wavelength modes with kyL~1 and frequency ωτ~Ωi0, where Ωi0 is the ion gyrofrequency in the lobe field. Three-dimensional particle simulations performed on a massively parallel computer show that while the growth rates for the drift kink mode are reduced by the finite Bz, they can still be appreciable (γ/Ωi0<~0.05-0.10). The kyL~1 drift kink modes are always the first to grow in the simulations; subsequently, tearing-like modes with a dominant kx wave vector also become unstable. Implications of these results for the triggering of substorms are discussed.

  1. Particle acceleration in 3D single current sheets formed in the solar corona and heliosphere: PIC approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zharkova, V. V.; Siversky, T.

    2015-09-01

    Acceleration of protons and electrons in a reconnecting current sheet (RCS) is investigated with the test particle and particle-in-cell (PIC) approaches in a 3D magnetic topology. PIC simulations confirm a spatial separation of electrons and protons with respect to the midplane depending on the guiding field. Simulation reveals that the separation occurs in magnetic topologies with strong guiding fields and lasts as long as the particles are kept dragged into a current sheet. This separation produces a polarisation electric field induced by the plasma feedback to a presence of accelerated particles, which shape can change from symmetric towards the midplane (for weak guiding field) to fully asymmetric (for strong guiding field). Particles are found accelerated at a midplane of any current sheets present in the heliosphere to the energies up to hundred keV for electrons and hundred MeV for protons. The maximum energy gained by particles during their motion inside the current sheet is defined by its magnetic field topology (the ratio of magnetic field components), the side and location from the X-nullpoint, where the particles enter a current sheet. In strong magnetic fields of the solar corona with weaker guiding fields, electrons are found circulating about the midplane to large distances where proton are getting accelerated, creating about the current sheet midplane clouds of high energy electrons, which can be the source of hard X-ray emission in the coronal sources of flares. These electrons are ejected into the same footpoint as protons after the latter reach the energy sufficicent to break from a current sheet. In a weaker magnetic field of the heliosphere the bounced electrons with lower energies cannot reach the midplane turning instead at some distance D before the current sheet midplane by 180 degrees from their initial motion. Also the beams of accelerated transit and bounced particles are found to generate turbulent electric fields in a form of Langmuir

  2. ISEE-1 and 2 observations of field-aligned currents in the distant midnight magnetosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Kelly, T. J.; Russell, C. T.

    1985-01-01

    Magnetic field measurements obtained in the nightside magnetosphere by the co-orbiting ISEE-1 and 2 spacecraft have been examined for signatures of field-aligned currents (FAC). Such currents are found on the boundary of the plasma sheet both when the plasma sheet is expanding and when it is thinning. Evidence is often found for the existence of waves on the plasma sheet boundary, leading to multiple crossings of the FAC sheet. At times the boundary layer FAC sheet orientation is nearly parallel to the X-Z GSM plane, suggesting 'protrusions' of plasma sheet into the lobes. The boundary layer current polarity is, as expected, into the ionosphere in the midnight to dawn local time sector, and outward near dusk. Current sheet thicknesses and velocities are essentially independent of plasma sheet expansion or thinning, having typical values of 1500 km and 20-40 km/s respectively. Characteristic boundary layer current densities are about 10 nanoamps per square meter.

  3. Analysis of induction-type coilgun performance based on cylindrical current sheet model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, J. L.; Levi, E.; Zabar, Z.; Birenbaum, L.; Naot, Y.

    1991-01-01

    A method which is based on a cylindrical current sheet model for the analysis and design of induction-type coilguns is presented. The work starts with a derivation of closed-form formulas which relate the dimensions of the gun to the performance expressed in terms of propulsive and local maximum forces on the projectile, power factor and efficiency of the system, thermal stress of the projectile armature, distributions of the flux density around the launcher, and the system parameters in a multisection coilgun. A numerical example is given.

  4. Analysis of induction-type coilgun performance based on cylindrical current sheet model

    SciTech Connect

    He, J.L.; Levi, E.; Zabar, Z.; Birenbaum, L.; Naot, Y. )

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents a method based on a cylindrical current sheet model for the analysis and design of induction-type coilguns. The paper starts with a derivation of closed-form formulas which relate the dimensions of the gun to the performance expressed in terms of propulsive and local maximum forces on the projectile, power factor and efficiency of the system, thermal stress of the projectile armature, distributions of the flux density around the launcher, and the system parameters in a multisection coilgun. The paper ends with a numerical example.

  5. Electrostatic Solitary Waves in the Solar Wind: Evidence for Instability at Solar Wind Current Sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malaspina, David M.; Newman, David L.; Wilson, Lynn Bruce; Goetz, Keith; Kellogg, Paul J.; Kerstin, Kris

    2013-01-01

    A strong spatial association between bipolar electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) and magnetic current sheets (CSs) in the solar wind is reported here for the first time. This association requires that the plasma instabilities (e.g., Buneman, electron two stream) which generate ESWs are preferentially localized to solar wind CSs. Distributions of CS properties (including shear angle, thickness, solar wind speed, and vector magnetic field change) are examined for differences between CSs associated with ESWs and randomly chosen CSs. Possible mechanisms for producing ESW-generating instabilities at solar wind CSs are considered, including magnetic reconnection.

  6. Existence of three-dimensional ideal-magnetohydrodynamic equilibria with current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Loizu, J.; Hudson, S. R.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Lazerson, S.; Helander, P.

    2015-09-15

    We consider the linear and nonlinear ideal plasma response to a boundary perturbation in a screw pinch. We demonstrate that three-dimensional, ideal-MHD equilibria with continuously nested flux-surfaces and with discontinuous rotational-transform across the resonant rational-surfaces are well defined and can be computed both perturbatively and using fully nonlinear equilibrium calculations. This rescues the possibility of constructing MHD equilibria with current sheets and continuous, smooth pressure profiles. The results predict that, even if the plasma acts as a perfectly conducting fluid, a resonant magnetic perturbation can penetrate all the way into the center of a tokamak without being shielded at the resonant surface.

  7. Numerical experiments of magnetic reconnection in the solar flare and CME current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Zhixing; Lin, Jun; Shen, Chengcai

    2012-07-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a critical role in the energy conversion in the solar eruption. This paper performs a set of MHD experiments for the magnetic reconnection process in a current sheet formed in a disrupting magnetic configuration. The eruption results from the loss of equilibrium in the magnetic configuration that includes a current-carrying flux rope, which is used to model the filament floating in the corona. In order to study the fine structure and micro process inside the current sheet (CS), the mesh refinement technology is used to depress the numerical diffusion. A uniform physical diffusion is applied and results in a Lundquist number S=10^4 in the vicinity of CS. Because of the advantage of the foregoing setting, some features appear with high resolution, including plasmoids due to the tearing mode and the plasmoid instabilities, turbulence regions, and the slow mode shocks. Inside CS, magnetic reconnection goes through the Sweet-Parker and the fractal fashions, and eventually, it displays a time-dependent Petschek pattern. Our results seem to support the concept of fractal reconnection suggested by Shibata et al. (1995) and Shibata & Tanuma (2001). And our results suggest that the CS evolves through a Sweet-Parker reconnection prior to the fast reconnection stage. For the first time, the detailed features and/or fine structures inside the CME/flare CS in the eruption were investigated in this work.

  8. Particle scattering and current sheet stability in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase

    SciTech Connect

    Pulkkinen, T.I.; Pellinen, R.J.; Koskinen, H.E.J. ); Baker, D.N. ); Buechner, J. ); Lopez, R.E. ); Dyson, R.L.; Frank, L.A. )

    1992-12-01

    The degree of pitch angle scattering and chaotization of various particle populations in the geomagnetic tail during the substorm growth phase is studied by utilizing the Tsyganenko 1989 magnetic field model. A temporally evolving magnetic field model for the growth phase is constructed by enhancing the near-Earth currents and thinning the current sheet from the values given by the static Tsyganenko model. Changing the field geometry toward an increasingly taillike configuration leads to pitch angle scattering of particles whose Larmor radii become comparable to the field line radius of curvature. Several different cases representing substorms with varying levels of magnetic disturbance have been studied. In each case, the field development during the growth phase leads to considerable scattering of the thermal electrons relatively close to the Earth. The current sheet regions where the electron motion is chaotic are magnetically mapped to the ionosphere and compared with low-altitude measurements of electron precipitation. The chaotization of the thermal electron population occurs within a few minutes of the substorm onset, and the ionospheric mappings of the chaotic regions in the equatorial plane compare well with the region of brightening auroras. Even though the temporal evolution of the complex plasma system cannot be self-consistently described by the temporal evolution of the empirical field model, these models can provide the most accurate estimates of the field parameters for tail stability calculations.

  9. Theory and simulation of lower-hybrid drift instability for current sheet with guide field

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, P. H.; Lin, Y.; Wang, X. Y.; Lui, A. T. Y.

    2008-11-15

    The stability of a thin current sheet with a finite guide field is investigated in the weak guide-field limit by means of linear theory and simulation. The emphasis is placed on the lower-hybrid drift instability (LHDI) propagating along the current flow direction. Linear theory is compared against the two-dimensional linear simulation based on the gyrokinetic electron/fully kinetic ion code. LHDI is a flute mode characterized by k{center_dot}B{sub total}=0; hence, it is stabilized by a finite guide field if one is confined to k vector strictly parallel to the cross-field current. Comparison of the theory and simulation shows qualitatively good agreement.

  10. Space Technology 5 measurements of auroral field-aligned current sheet motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y.; Le, G.; Slavin, J. A.; Boardsen, S. A.; Strangeway, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    During the 90-day Space Technology 5 (ST-5) mission, a total of 2535 auroral field-aligned current (FAC) signatures were identified. Of these 1030 were suitable to be modeled as semi-infinite current sheets aligned with L-shells and moving with constant speed in the north or south directions (hereafter called FAC speed). FAC speeds were found to range from -1 to 1 km/s with larger mean magnitude during intervals of higher geomagnetic activity. At ST-5 altitudes, ~300 to 4500 km, the median relative errors in FAC thickness and current density, when stationary FAC is assumed, are 4%. When the ST-5 FAC speed determinations are extrapolated along the IGRF-10 magnetic field lines, these errors increase to 23% and 24% at 4 RE, and 65% and 124% at 8 RE, respectively.

  11. Electrodynamics in a Very Thin Current Sheet Leading to Magnetic Reconnection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Nagendra; Deverapalli, Chakri; Khazanov, George

    2006-01-01

    We study the formation of a very thin current sheet (CS) and associated plasma electrodynamics using three-dimensional (3-D) particle-in-cell simulations with ion to electron mass ratio M/m=1836. The CS is driven by imposed anti-parallel magnetic fields. The noteworthy features of the temporal evolution of the CS are the following: (i) Steepening of the magnetic field profile B,(z) in the central part of the CS, (ii) Generation of three-peak current distribution with the largest peak in the CS center as B,(z) steepens, (iii) Generation of converging electric fields forming a potential well in the CS center in which ions are accelerated. (iv) Electron and ion heating in the central part of the CS by current-driven instabilities (CDI). (v) Re-broadening of the CS due to increased kinetic plasma pressure in the CS center. (vi) Generation of electron temperature anisotropy with temperature perpendicular to the magnetic field being larger than the parallel one. (vii) Current disruption by electron trapping in an explosively growing electrostatic instability (EGEI) and electron tearing instability (ETI). (viii)The onset of EGEI coincides with an increase in the electron temperature above the temperature of the initially hot ions as well as the appearance of new shear in the electron drift velocity. (ix) Bifurcation of the central CS by the current disruption. (x) Magnetic reconnection (MR) beginning near the null in B, and spreading outward. (xi) Generation of highly energized electrons reaching relativistic speeds and having isotropic pitch-angle distribution in the region of reconnected magnetic fields. We compare some of these features of the current sheet with results from laboratory and space experiments.

  12. Controlling Influence of Magnetic Field on Solar Wind Outflow: An Investigation using Current Sheet Source Surface Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poduval, B.

    2016-08-01

    This Letter presents the results of an investigation into the controlling influence of large-scale magnetic field of the Sun in determining the solar wind outflow using two magnetostatic coronal models: current sheet source surface (CSSS) and potential field source surface. For this, we made use of the Wang and Sheeley inverse correlation between magnetic flux expansion rate (FTE) and observed solar wind speed (SWS) at 1 au. During the period of study, extended over solar cycle 23 and beginning of solar cycle 24, we found that the coefficients of the fitted quadratic equation representing the FTE–SWS inverse relation exhibited significant temporal variation, implying the changing pattern of the influence of FTE on SWS over time. A particularly noteworthy feature is an anomaly in the behavior of the fitted coefficients during the extended minimum, 2008–2010 (CRs 2073–2092), which is considered due to the particularly complex nature of the solar magnetic field during this period. However, this variation was significant only for the CSSS model, though not a systematic dependence on the phase of the solar cycle. Further, we noticed that the CSSS model demonstrated better solar wind prediction during the period of study, which we attribute to the treatment of volume and sheet currents throughout the corona and the more accurate tracing of footpoint locations resulting from the geometry of the model.

  13. Plasmoid and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in Sweet-Parker current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loureiro, N. F.; Schekochihin, A. A.; Uzdensky, D. A.

    2013-01-01

    A two-dimensional (2D) linear theory of the instability of Sweet-Parker (SP) current sheets is developed in the framework of reduced magnetohydrodynamics. A local analysis is performed taking into account the dependence of a generic equilibrium profile on the outflow coordinate. The plasmoid instability [Loureiro , Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007)] is recovered, i.e., current sheets are unstable to the formation of a large-wave-number chain of plasmoids (kmaxLCS˜S3/8, where kmax is the wave number of fastest growing mode, S=LCSVA/η is the Lundquist number, LCS is the length of the sheet, VA is the Alfvén speed, and η is the plasma resistivity), which grows super Alfvénically fast (γmaxτA˜S1/4, where γmax is the maximum growth rate, and τA=LCS/VA). For typical background profiles, the growth rate and the wave number are found to increase in the outflow direction. This is due to the presence of another mode, the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability, which is triggered at the periphery of the layer, where the outflow velocity exceeds the Alfvén speed associated with the upstream magnetic field. The KH instability grows even faster than the plasmoid instability γmaxτA˜kmaxLCS˜S1/2. The effect of viscosity (ν) on the plasmoid instability is also addressed. In the limit of large magnetic Prandtl numbers Pm=ν/η, it is found that γmax˜S1/4Pm-5/8 and kmaxLCS˜S3/8Pm-3/16, leading to the prediction that the critical Lundquist number for plasmoid instability in the Pm≫1 regime is Scrit˜104Pm1/2. These results are verified via direct numerical simulation of the linearized equations, using an analytical 2D SP equilibrium solution.

  14. Electric fields associated with small-scale magnetic holes in the plasma sheet: Evidence for electron currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodrich, Katherine A.; Ergun, Robert E.; Stawarz, Julia E.

    2016-06-01

    We report observations of magnetic holes (MHs) in the near-Earth (8 RE to 12 RE) plasma sheet that have physical sizes perpendicular to the magnetic field (B) on the order of the ion Larmor radius (ρi) and, more importantly, have current layers less than ρi in thickness. Small-scale MHs can have >90% depletion in |B| and are commonly associated with the braking of bursty bulk flow events. The generation of MHs is often attributed to magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities, which requires a size greater than ρi; the depletion in |B| is from an ion current consistent with a pressure gradient. Electric field (E) observations indicate a negative potential inside of small-scale MHs that creates an outward E at the boundary, which drives an E × B electron current in a thin layer. These observations indicate that a Hall electron current is primarily responsible for the depletion of |B| in small-scale magnetic holes, rather than the ion pressure gradient.

  15. Lower-hybrid drift and Buneman instabilities in current sheets with guide field

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, P. H.; Lui, A. T. Y.

    2008-11-15

    Lower-hybrid drift and Buneman instabilities operate in current sheets with or without the guide field. The lower-hybrid drift instability is a universal instability in that it operates for all parameters. In contrast, the excitation of Buneman instability requires sufficiently thin current sheet. That is, the relative electron-ion drift speed must exceed the threshold in order for Buneman instability to operate. Traditionally, the two instabilities were treated separately with different mathematical formalisms. In a recent paper, an improved electrostatic dispersion relation was derived that is valid for both unstable modes [P. H. Yoon and A. T. Y. Lui, Phys. Plasmas 15, 072101 (2008)]. However, the actual numerical analysis was restricted to a one-dimensional situation. The present paper generalizes the previous analysis and investigates the two-dimensional nature of both instabilities. It is found that the lower-hybrid drift instability is a flute mode satisfying k{center_dot}B=0 and k{center_dot}{nabla}n=0, where k represents the wave number for the most unstable mode, B stands for the total local magnetic field, and {nabla}n is the density gradient. This finding is not totally unexpected. However, a somewhat surprising finding is that the Buneman instability is a field-aligned mode characterized by kxB=0 and k{center_dot}{nabla}n=0, rather than being a beam-aligned instability.

  16. Multi-spacecraft Characterization of Current Sheet Crossings in the Dynamic Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, N. D.; Stevens, M. L.; Biesecker, D. A.; Case, A. W.; Kasper, J. C.; Koval, A.; Szabo, A.

    2015-12-01

    The sun releases immense amounts of energy in the form of interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) that can propagate through the solar wind towards Earth. Dragged along with it is a superconducting plasma of highly ionized gas that carries a "frozen-in" magnetic field. DSCOVR was recently launched and has joined Wind, ACE, and SOHO at L1 in order to make independent magnetic field measurements of the solar wind. These data, in conjunction with velocity measurements and the DSCOVR Faraday Cup ion spectra, can give us a sense of what shape the current sheets have as they pass through the spacecraft. Magnetic reconnection occurs as a result of the squeezing of opposing field lines to a cusp in a direction perpendicular to the direction of travel, and can continue to occur out to interplanetary distances due to the large amount of energy stored in ICME field lines. In particular, we are interested in high-density pile-up regions where the B-field components change sign during the June 22-23 ICME of this year. With at least three spacecraft, we are able to map the current sheet crossings in the solar wind at snapshots in time through planar timing calculations and minimum variance analysis. The advantages of multi-point and high time resolution plasma measurements will be assessed in determining large scale morphology, and for small scale dynamics of ICMEs, respectively.

  17. Magnetic relaxation, current sheets, and structure formation in an extremely Tenuous fluid medium

    SciTech Connect

    Bajer, K.; Moffatt, H. K.

    2013-12-20

    The process of relaxation of a unidirectional magnetic field in a highly conducting tenuous fluid medium is considered. Null points of the field play a critical role in this process. During an initial stage of relaxation, variations in magnetic pressure are eliminated, and current sheets build up in the immediate neighborhood of null points. This initial phase is followed by a long diffusive phase of slow algebraic decay of the field, during which fluid is continuously sucked into the current sheets, leading to exponential growth of fluid density and concentration of mass around the null points, which show a tendency to cluster. Ultimately, this second phase of algebraic decay gives way to a final period of exponential decay of the field. The peaks of density at the null points survive as a fossil relic of the decay process. Numerical solution of the governing equations provides convincing confirmation of this three-stage scenario. Generalizations to two- and three-dimensional fields are briefly considered.

  18. A numerical simulation of magnetic reconnection and radiative cooling in line-tied current sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, T. G.; Malherbe, J. M.

    1991-01-01

    Radiative MHD equations are used for an optically thin plasma to carry out a numerical experiment related to the formation of 'postflare' loops. The numerical experiment starts with a current sheet that is in mechanical and thermal equilibrium but is unstable to both tearing-mode and thermal-condensation instabilities. The current sheet is line-tied at one end to a photospheric-like boundary and evolves asymmetrically. The effects of thermal conduction, resistivity variation, and gravity are ignored. In general, reconnection in the nonlinear stage of the tearing-mode instability can strongly affect the onset of condensations unless the radiative-cooling time scale is much smaller than the tearing-mode time scale. When the ambient plasma is less than 0.2, the reconnection enters a regime where the outflow from the reconnection region is supermagnetosonic with respect to the fast-mode wave speed. In the supermagnetosonic regime the most rapidly condensing regions occur downstream of a fast-mode shock that forms where the outflow impinges on closed loops attached to the photospheric-like boundary. A similar shock-induced condensation might occur during the formation of 'postflare' loops.

  19. Electron acceleration in the turbulent reconnecting current sheets in solar flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, G. P.; Huang, G. L.

    2009-07-01

    Context: We investigate the nonlinear evolution of the electron distribution in the presence of the strong inductive electric field in the reconnecting current sheets (RCS) of solar flares. Aims: We aim to study the characteristics of nonthermal electron-beam plasma instability and its influence on electron acceleration in RCS. Methods: Including the external inductive field, the one-dimensional Vlasov simulation is performed with a realistic mass ratio for the first time. Results: Our principal findings are as follows: 1) the Buneman instability can be quickly excited on the timescale of 10-7 s for the typical parameters of solar flares. After saturation, the beam-plasma instabilities are excited due to the non-Maxwellian electron distribution; 2) the final velocity of the electrons trapped by these waves is of the same order as the phase speed of the waves, while the untrapped electrons continue to be accelerated; 3) the inferred anomalous resistance of the current sheet and the energy conversion rate are basically of the same order as those previously estimated, e.g., “the analysis of Martens”. Conclusions: The Buneman instability is excited on the timescale of 10-7 s and the wave-particle resonant interaction limits the low-energy electrons to be further accelerated in RCS.

  20. Lower-hybrid instabilities and turbulence associated with reconnection in asymmetric current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roytershteyn, V.; Daughton, W.; Karimabadi, H.

    2011-10-01

    The role of microscopic plasma turbulence in enabling magnetic reconnection is a long-standing problem in plasma physics. In this work, we consider reconnection in asymmetric current sheets as encountered for example at the Earth's magnetopause and laboratory experiments, such as MRX. Using 3D PIC simulations with Monte-Carlo treatment of Coulomb collisions, we demonstrate that Lower-Hybrid (LH) turbulence naturally arises in this configuration in both collisionless and weakly collisional plasma. Two sources of LH turbulence are identified. In regimes with moderate ratio of electron-to-ion temperature Te <=Ti and low overall β, electromagnetic LH instability with hybrid wavelength k(ρeρi) 1 / 2 ~ 1 (Daughton, 2003) localized near the X-line can reach large amplitude. This mode produces substantial modifications to the average force balance in the form of fluctuation-induced drag and stress terms and significantly alters the structure of the diffusion region. It persists in weakly collisional regimes typical of MRX. Under parameters typical of the magnetopause, LH turbulence is predominantly localized around the separatrices on the low- β side of the current sheet, where it is driven by short-wavelength instability with kρe ~ 1 (e.g. Davidson, 1977). Under these conditions, the overall structure of the reconnection region is not appreciably modified compared to 2D simulations.

  1. The North-South Asymmetry of the Heliospheric Current Sheet: Results of an MHD Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Usmanov, Arcadi V.; Goldstein, Melvyn L.

    2013-01-01

    A displacement of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) south of the helioequator by approx.10deg was proposed by Simpson et al. (1996) as a possible explanation of the north-south asymmetry in the galactic cosmic rays observed by Ulysses during its first fast transit in 1994-1995. The idea was not supported by magnetic field measurements on Ulysses and, on this ground, was dismissed by Simpson et al. (1996). In addition, Erdos & Balogh (1998) argued that any north-south symmetry was unlikely as there should be flux balance between the magnetic sectors of opposite polarity. Nonetheless, many in the scientific community have accepted the original suggestion of Simpson et al. (1996) that a displacement of the HCS was responsible for the cosmic ray asymmetry. In this paper, using a magnetohydrodynamic model of the solar corona and solar wind that includes both dipole and quadrupole magnetic source terms, we show that a north-south asymmetry of the magnetic field on the Sun does not give rise to a displacement of the HCS. The lack of displacement of the HCS results from a latitudinal redistribution of magnetic flux near the Sun where the plasma beta much < 1. The latitudinal redistribution is a direct consequence of the magnetic field gradient between pole and equator. Near the Sun, the latitudinal gradient in magnetic field generates meridional flows directed equatorward that tend to relax the gradient in the magnetic field (to make it more latitude-independent) as heliocentric distance increases. If there is an asymmetry between north and south magnetic field strength then the meridional flows are also asymmetric (i.e., stronger in the hemisphere of stronger magnetic field). Because the magnetic fluxes (positive and negative) in the hemispheres must be equal, the redistribution shifts the HCS into balance by approx. 16 R(solar mass). At larger distances, where the magnetic field is relatively weak (beta much > 1), the HCS can be displaced if there is a difference in

  2. Analytical theory of a current sheet formed between the magnetized and nonmagnetized plasmas with arbitrary energy distribution of particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martyanov, Vladimir; Kocharovsky, Vladimir; Kocharovsky, Vitaly

    We present analytical description of a self-consistent stationary boundary layer formed between the magnetized and nonmagnetized collisionless plasmas with arbitrary energy distribution of particles. Various spatial profiles of the current and respective particle distributions in the neutral current sheets are found on the basis of the self-consistency equation of the Grad-Shafranov type, which takes into account a homogeneous external magnetic field. The solutions are obtained due to development of the method of invariants of particle motion (Astron. Lett. 36, 396 (2010)) and provide, for the first time, a detailed description of various transition domains in the magnetospheres of stars and planets, in particular, boundary regions formed by an interaction of a solar wind with an interstellar medium or Earth magnetosphere. We restrict ourselves to the shearless magnetic field configurations and consider four special dependencies of particle distribution function on momentum parallel to current direction, which make it possible to detail the relations between the magnetic field profile, plasma density, and particle anisotropy gradient, including both thin and thick (with respect to a particle gyroradius) layers. Special attention is paid to the cases of an utmost sharp boundary between the magnetized and nonmagnetized plasmas and to the cases where there are sections of a boundary current sheet with magnetic field energy density exceeding kinetic energy density of plasma particles. The kinetic instabilities and reconnection phenomena are also discussed, especially the ones related to the Weibel instability in the weakly magnetized parts of the boundary layer. These analytical results are applied to the analysis of the spacecraft observations of the magnetized-nonmagnetized boundaries in cosmic plasma.

  3. Magnetic Reconnection in the Heliospheric Current Sheet: The Implications of the Different Environments Seen by the VoyagerSpacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swisdak, M. M.; Drake, J. F.; Opher, M.

    2014-12-01

    The magnetic field abutting the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is primarily in the azimuthal direction, either east-to-west or west-to-east. Mis-alignment of the solar rotational and magnetic axesleads to the characteristic ballerina-skirt shape of the HCS and during the solar cycle there can be large excursions in the sheet's latitudinal extent. Voyager 2's observations of energetic electrondropouts are related to its crossing of this boundary. Magnetic reconnection is also thought to occur as the HCS compresses and narrows between the termination shock and the heliopause. Near theequator the two HCS field alignments are present in roughly equal amounts, while near the edges the distribution can be considerably skewed. This will lead to substantial differences in the environmentsof the two Voyager spacecraft since Voyager 1 is north of the equator, but firmly in the sector region, while Voyager 2 is south of the equator and skirting the edges of the sector region. We presentparticle-in-cell simulations demonstrating the consequences of the reconnection of asymmetric amounts of flux. In particular, we will discuss Voyager 2's remaining time in the heliosphere -- including theimplications for the solar wind velocity, energetic particle transport, and the expected structure of Voyager 2's heliopause crossing -- and compare it with the data collected from Voyager 1.

  4. Solar wind helium and hydrogen structure near the heliospheric current sheet - A signal of coronal streamers at 1 AU

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borrini, G.; Wilcox, J. M.; Gosling, J. T.; Bame, S. J.; Feldman, W. C.

    1981-01-01

    Solar wind flow properties associated with very low helium to hydrogen abundance ratios have been observed with Los Alamos instruments on IMP 6, 7, and 8 during 1971-1978. A characteristic pattern has been discovered consisting of correlated interplanetary field reversals, high plasma density, low and nearly identical H(+) and He(2+) bulk velocities, low H(+) and He(2+) kinetic temperatures, and minima in their ratios. Because coronal streamers straddle the current sheet close to the sun, the pattern discovered is the 'signal' of a coronal streamer at 1 AU. A superposed epoch analysis of 74 well-defined sector boundary crossings provides verification of the above correlation featuring a pronounced minimum in the helium to hydrogen abundance ratio at the sector boundary passage.

  5. Observation of Depolarized ZnO(0001) Monolayers: Formation of Unreconstructed Planar Sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Tusche, C.; Meyerheim, H. L.; Kirschner, J.

    2007-07-13

    A novel nonpolar structure of 2 monolayer (ML) thick ZnO(0001) films grown on Ag(111) has been revealed, using surface x-ray diffraction and scanning tunneling microscopy. Zn and O atoms are arranged in planar sheets like in the hexagonal boron-nitride prototype structure. The observed depolarization is accompanied by a significant lateral 1.6% expansion of the lattice parameter and a 3% reduced Zn-O bond length within the sheets. The nonpolar structure stabilizes an atomically flat surface morphology unseen for ZnO surfaces thus far. The transition to the bulk wurtzite structure occurs in the 3-4 ML coverage range, connected to considerable roughening.

  6. Relationships between field-aligned currents, electric fields and particle precipitation as observed by dynamics Explorer-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sugiura, M.; Iyemori, T.; Hoffman, R. A.; Maynard, N. C.; Burch, J. L.; Winningham, J. D.

    1983-01-01

    The relationships between field-aligned currents, electric fields, and particle fluxes are determined using observations from the polar orbiting low-altitude satellite Dynamics Explorer-2. It is shown that the north-south electric field and the east-west magnetic field components are usually highly correlated in the field-aligned current regions. This proportionality observationally proves that the field-aligned current equals the divergence of the height-integrated ionospheric Pedersen current in the meridional plane to a high degree of approximation. As a general rule, in the evening sector the upward field-aligned currents flow in the boundary plasma sheet region and the downward currents flow in the central plasma sheet region. The current densities determined independently from the plasma and magnetic field measurements are compared. Although the current densities deduced from the two methods are in general agreement, the degree and extent of the agreement vary in individual cases.

  7. Relationships between field-aligned currents, electric fields, and particle precipitation as observed by Dynamics Explorer-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sugiura, M.; Iyemori, T.; Hoffman, R. A.; Maynard, N. C.; Burch, J. L.; Winningham, J. D.

    1984-01-01

    The relationships between field-aligned currents, electric fields, and particle fluxes are determined using observations from the polar orbiting low-altitude satellite Dynamics Explorer-2. It is shown that the north-south electric field and the east-west magnetic field components are usually highly correlated in the field-aligned current regions. This proportionality observationally proves that the field-aligned current equals the divergence of the height-integrated ionospheric Pedersen current in the meridional plane to a high degree of approximation. As a general rule, in the evening sector the upward field-aligned currents flow in the boundary plasma sheet region and the downward currents flow in the central plasma sheet region. The current densities determined independently from the plasma and magnetic field measurements are compared. Although the current densities deduced from the two methods are in general agreement, the degree and extent of the agreement vary in individual cases.

  8. Imaging of the relative saturation current density and sheet resistance of laser doped regions via photoluminescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xinbo; Macdonald, D.; Fell, A.; Shalav, A.; Xu, Lujia; Walter, D.; Ratcliff, T.; Franklin, E.; Weber, K.; Elliman, R.

    2013-08-01

    We present an approach to characterize the relative saturation current density (Joe) and sheet resistance (RSH) of laser doped regions on silicon wafers based on rapid photoluminescence (PL) imaging. In the absence of surface passivation layers, the RSH of laser doped regions using a wide range of laser parameters is found to be inversely proportional to the PL intensity (IPL). We explain the underlying mechanism for this correlation, which reveals that, in principle, IPL is inversely proportional to Joe at any injection level. The validity of this relationship under a wide range of typical experimental conditions is confirmed by numerical simulations. This method allows the optimal laser parameters for achieving low RSH and Joe to be determined from a simple PL image.

  9. All-sky imager observations near footprints of plasma sheet waves with kinetic ballooning-interchange signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panov, E. V.; Nakamura, R.; Sergeev, V. A.; Baumjohann, W.; Kubyshkina, M. V.

    2015-12-01

    We collected several THEMIS observations of plasma sheet oscillations with kinetic ballooning/interchange instability (BICI) signatures. Using an adapted model to find the location of THEMIS footprints, we identified all-sky imager (ASI) observations that may be associated with the waves. The ASI observations reveal a reach activity often being diffuse patchy aurora. We investigate the brightness and motion of the auroral patches and compare them with the BICI activity in the plasma sheet.

  10. Plasmoid and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in Sweet-Parker current sheets.

    PubMed

    Loureiro, N F; Schekochihin, A A; Uzdensky, D A

    2013-01-01

    A two-dimensional (2D) linear theory of the instability of Sweet-Parker (SP) current sheets is developed in the framework of reduced magnetohydrodynamics. A local analysis is performed taking into account the dependence of a generic equilibrium profile on the outflow coordinate. The plasmoid instability [Loureiro et al., Phys. Plasmas 14, 100703 (2007)] is recovered, i.e., current sheets are unstable to the formation of a large-wave-number chain of plasmoids (k(max)L(CS)~S(3/8), where k(max) is the wave number of fastest growing mode, S=L(CS)V(A)/η is the Lundquist number, L(CS) is the length of the sheet, V(A) is the Alfvén speed, and η is the plasma resistivity), which grows super Alfvénically fast (γ(max)τ(A)~S(1/4), where γ(max) is the maximum growth rate, and τ(A)=L(CS)/V(A)). For typical background profiles, the growth rate and the wave number are found to increase in the outflow direction. This is due to the presence of another mode, the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability, which is triggered at the periphery of the layer, where the outflow velocity exceeds the Alfvén speed associated with the upstream magnetic field. The KH instability grows even faster than the plasmoid instability γ(max)τ(A)~k(max)L(CS)~S(1/2). The effect of viscosity (ν) on the plasmoid instability is also addressed. In the limit of large magnetic Prandtl numbers Pm=ν/η, it is found that γ(max)~S(1/4)Pm(-5/8) and k(max)L(CS)~S(3/8)Pm(-3/16), leading to the prediction that the critical Lundquist number for plasmoid instability in the Pm>1 regime is S(crit)~10(4)Pm(1/2). These results are verified via direct numerical simulation of the linearized equations, using an analytical 2D SP equilibrium solution. PMID:23410441

  11. World line dependence of current sheet normals inferred by minimum variance techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scudder, J. D.; Ma, Z.-W.; Omidi, N.; Puhl-Quinn, P.

    2005-08-01

    The reconstruction of current sheet geometry is investigated as a function of paths through an oblique two-dimensional (2-D) hybrid supercritical shock and two fluid simulations of the magnetopause with no, small, and large guide fields, respectively. For world lines near the separator or 2-D structures in shocks, systematic errors swamp statistical ones tenfold. The systematic angular errors of the magnetopause surface normal determined by minimum variance analysis (MVA) using >100,000 world lines are contrasted with recommended statistical error cones. The systematic errors range as high as 90° but typically more than 20°. Errors do not have a most probable value at the magnetopause when using MVA on the magnetic data, MnVA(B), and remain substantial when the Faraday residue, MnVA(FR), is minimized. The 68% confidence error on MnVA(FR) normals is 0-15°. "Skimming" world lines oblique to the current sheet normal are the most susceptible to the MnVA(B) and MnVA(FR) systematic errors discussed here, whether or not the world line pierces the separator. MnVA(B) almost always erroneously insists that a guide field is present when none is present in the simulation. MnVA(FR) does a better job at guide field recovery, although it too can be error prone. Similar issues are demonstrated for oblique world lines through a 2-D hybrid simulation of an oblique supercritical shock. Shock normal systematic errors are 35° and 20° at the 68% confidence for MnVA(B) and MnVA(FR), respectively. The eigenvalue ratios that accompany the least error prone MnVA(FR) reconstructions usually satisfy λ2/λ1 > 10. Eigenvalue ratios for MVA(B) are rarely this large, and the errors reported here reflect this circumstance.

  12. Observed strong currents under global tropical cyclones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Yu-Chia; Tseng, Ruo-Shan; Chu, Peter C.; Chen, Jau-Ming; Centurioni, Luca R.

    2016-07-01

    Global data from drifters of the Surface Velocity Program (Niiler, 2001) and tropical cyclones (TCs) from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center and National Hurricane Center were analyzed to demonstrate strong ocean currents and their characteristics under various storm intensities in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and in the Southern Hemisphere (SH). Mean TC's translation speed (Uh) is faster in the NH (~ 4.7 m s- 1) than in the SH (~ 4.0 m s- 1), owing to the fact that TCs are more intense in the NH than in the SH. The rightward (leftward) bias of ocean mixed-layer (OML) velocity occurs in the NH (SH). As a result of this slower Uh and thus a smaller Froude number in the SH, the flow patterns in the SH under the same intensity levels of TCs are more symmetric relative to the TC center and the OML velocities are stronger. This study provides the first characterization of the near-surface OML velocity response to all recorded TCs in the SH from direct velocity measurements.

  13. LOFAR: current status and observing opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabater, J.; Verdes-Montenegro, L.; Best, P. N.; Lofar Collaboration

    2013-05-01

    LOFAR ({http://www.lofar.org/}{LOw Frequency ARray}) is a distributed network of multipurpose sensors. It is composed mainly of a networked radio telescope operating between 15 and 250 MHz but also hosts geophysical and agricultural sensors. Designed and constructed by {http://www.astron.nl}{ASTRON}, it has facilities in several countries that are owned by various parties (each with their own funding sources). These facilities are collectively operated by the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) foundation under a joint scientific policy. Currently (July 2012), the {http://www.astron.nl/radio-observatory/lofar-msss/lofar-msss}{ Multifrequency Snapshot Sky Survey (MSSS)} is producing the first sky model that is needed for data calibration. MSSS will cover all the northern hemisphere with a minimum resolution of 120 arcsec and a sensitivity between 5 and 15 mJy/beam. The first proposal cycle was opened to the international comunity in July 2012. LOFAR is one of the {http://www.skatelescope.org/}{Square Kilometer Array (SKA)} pathfinders, the new global project to build a new generation radio-interferometer with a collecting area of 1 km^2.

  14. Dynamic topology and flux rope evolution during non-linear tearing of 3D null point current sheets

    SciTech Connect

    Wyper, P. F. Pontin, D. I.

    2014-10-15

    In this work, the dynamic magnetic field within a tearing-unstable three-dimensional current sheet about a magnetic null point is described in detail. We focus on the evolution of the magnetic null points and flux ropes that are formed during the tearing process. Generally, we find that both magnetic structures are created prolifically within the layer and are non-trivially related. We examine how nulls are created and annihilated during bifurcation processes, and describe how they evolve within the current layer. The type of null bifurcation first observed is associated with the formation of pairs of flux ropes within the current layer. We also find that new nulls form within these flux ropes, both following internal reconnection and as adjacent flux ropes interact. The flux ropes exhibit a complex evolution, driven by a combination of ideal kinking and their interaction with the outflow jets from the main layer. The finite size of the unstable layer also allows us to consider the wider effects of flux rope generation. We find that the unstable current layer acts as a source of torsional magnetohydrodynamic waves and dynamic braiding of magnetic fields. The implications of these results to several areas of heliophysics are discussed.

  15. Consistent Observational and Numerical Modeling Support for Ice Sheet Forcing of DOI event 8

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, S.; Jackson, C.; Marchal, O.; Thompson, W.; Stocker, T.

    2008-12-01

    The Binge/Purge (B/P) hypothesis of abrupt climate change (MacAyeal, 1993a,b, Paleoceanography) suggests that an instability and periodic collapse of the Laurentide ice sheet is responsible for the observed abrupt warmings of Greenland (Dansgaard-Oeschger Interstadials or DOIs) through the influence of ice sheet meltwater on ocean circulation and its poleward heat transport. If the B/P hypothesis is correct, then one should be able to use the Greenland paleotemperature data and a climate model to infer changes in global sea level associated with the DOIs. The B/P hypothesis could then be tested by comparing the inferred sea level changes with independent reconstructions based on marine records (corals and sediments). We use stochastic inversion of a seasonal resolving climate model (Schmittner and Stocker, 1999, J. Climate), composed of a zonally averaged ocean model (Wright and Stocker, 1992, J. Geophys. Res.) coupled to an energy and moisture balance model of the atmosphere, to infer the changes in ice sheet meltwater required to explain the Greenland paleotemperature record from 39 ka to 34 ka which include DOIs 8, 7, and 6. We found a compelling consistency between modeled and reconstructed sea level changes for DOI 8 (a particularly long interstadial following Heinrich Event 4), which tends to support the B/P hypothesis. On the other hand, the large estimated uncertainties in the inversion solution and sea level reconstructions do not permit a firm test of the B/P hypothesis for DOIs 7 and 6.

  16. Cluster observation of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the plasma sheet boundary layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narita, Y.

    2016-04-01

    Measurement of turbulent magnetic field is presented from the Earth magnetotail crossing of the Cluster spacecraft on August 25, 2006, as an ideal case study of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the plasma sheet boundary layer on a spatial scale of about 10,000 km. The fluctuation energy of the magnetic field is evaluated in both the frequency and wavevector domains. The observed plasma sheet turbulence event shows anisotropy in the wavevector domain with a spectral extension perpendicular to the mean magnetic field. The analyses of the dispersion relation and phase speed diagrams indicate that the coherent wave components should be regarded as a set of the linear-mode waves and the other fluctuation components in magnetohydrodynamics. Although the magnetic field fluctuation amplitudes are sufficiently small compared to the large-scale field strength, there is no clear indication of the linear-mode dominance in the plasma sheet. As a lesson, magnetohydrodynamic turbulence must be modeled by including both linear-mode waves and nonlinear wave components such as sideband waves.

  17. The evolution of the ion diffusion region during collisionless magnetic reconnection in a force-free current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Fushun; Huang, Can Lu, Quanming; Wang, Shui; Xie, Jinlin

    2015-09-15

    Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation is performed to investigate magnetic reconnection in a force-free current sheet. The results show that the evolution of the ion diffusion region has two different phases. In the first phase, the electrons flow toward the X line along one pair of separatrices and away from the X line along the other pair of separatrices. Therefore, in the ion diffusion region, a distorted quadrupole structure of the out-of-plane magnetic field is formed, which is similar to that of a typical guide field reconnection in the Harris current sheet. In the second phase, the electrons move toward the X line along the separatrices and then flow away from the X line at the inner side of the separatrices. In the ion diffusion region, the out-of-plane magnetic field exhibits a characteristic quadrupole pattern with a good symmetry, which is similar to that of antiparallel reconnection in the Harris current sheet.

  18. Proton Enhancement and Decreased O6+/H at the Heliospheric Current Sheet: Implications for the Origin of Slow Solar Wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y. C.-M.; Galvin, A. B.; Popecki, M. A.; Simunac, K. D. C.; Kistler, L.; Farrugia, C.; Lee, M. A.; Klecker, B.; Bochsler, P.; Luhmann, J. L.; Jian, L. K.; Moebius, E.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.; Wurz, P.

    2010-03-01

    We investigated the proton enhancement and O6+/H depletion in the vicinity of the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) using data from STEREO/PLASTIC and STEREO/IMPACT. Three HCS crossing events were studied. For the first two events, the proton enhancement and O6+/H depletion are found to lie at one edge of the HCS. The proton density has a steep slope both at the HCS and at the other boundary of the enhancement. In the third event the proton enhancement and O6+/H depletion surround the HCS and last for 8 hours while the density profile is very different from the other two events. Velocity shear is observed at the HCS for the first two events but not for the third. The enhancement of hydrogen and depletion of oxygen at the streamer belt in the solar corona have been reported using UVCS observation. A potential connection with our observations is based on the similar features observed at 1 AU. How the plasma flows out of the streamer belt, and why there are different features in HCS encounters remain open questions for future study.

  19. Modeling of Firn Compaction for Estimating Ice-Sheet Mass Change from Observed Ice-Sheet Elevation Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Jun; Zwally, H. Jay

    2011-01-01

    Changes in ice-sheet surface elevation are caused by a combination of ice-dynamic imbalance, ablation, temporal variations in accumulation rate, firn compaction and underlying bedrock motion. Thus, deriving the rate of ice-sheet mass change from measured surface elevation change requires information on the rate of firn compaction and bedrock motion, which do not involve changes in mass, and requires an appropriate firn density to associate with elevation changes induced by recent accumulation rate variability. We use a 25 year record of surface temperature and a parameterization for accumulation change as a function of temperature to drive a firn compaction model. We apply this formulation to ICESat measurements of surface elevation change at three locations on the Greenland ice sheet in order to separate the accumulation-driven changes from the ice-dynamic/ablation-driven changes, and thus to derive the corresponding mass change. Our calculated densities for the accumulation-driven changes range from 410 to 610 kg/cu m, which along with 900 kg/cu m for the dynamic/ablation-driven changes gives average densities ranging from 680 to 790 kg/cu m. We show that using an average (or "effective") density to convert elevation change to mass change is not valid where the accumulation and the dynamic elevation changes are of opposite sign.

  20. Oblique tearing of a thin current sheet: Implications for patchy magnetopause reconnection

    SciTech Connect

    Cao, F.; Kan, J.R. )

    1991-04-01

    A linear resistive tearing instability of thin magnetic reversal layer, with thickness down to the order of the ion inertial length, is analyzed under an incompressible approximation. The growth rate is calculated numerically for an oblique tearing mode exp(ik(z cos{theta} + y sin{theta})), where {theta} is the propagation angle between the wave vector k and the z axis parallel to the reversal magnetic fields. In the MHD limit, it is known that the maximally growing mode is centered about {theta} = O, and the growth rate decreases monotonically with increasing {vert bar}{theta}{vert bar}. When the finite-ion-inertial-length effect is included, the tearing instability is either enhanced or suppressed depending on the propagation angle {theta}. The authors find that only waves in several relatively narrow bands of the angle {theta} are unstable and that the unstable tearing modes become highly drifting for oblique propagations. Either the ion-inertial-length effect or the oblique propagation can lead to a vortex electric current which is responsible for magnetic field B{sub y} components normal to the tearing plane. The structure of magnetic islands is fully three dimensional and is carefully examined. Implications of the results for the patchy and intermittent reconnection of a finite-size current sheet at the dayside magnetopause are discussed.

  1. On the linear stability of sheared and magnetized jets without current sheets - non-relativistic case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jinho; Balsara, Dinshaw S.; Lyutikov, Maxim; Komissarov, Serguei S.

    2016-05-01

    In a prior paper (Kim et al. 2015) we considered the linear stability of magnetized jets that carry no net electric current and do not have current sheets. In this paper, in addition to physically well-motivated magnetic field structures, we also include the effects of jet shear. The jets we study have finite thermal pressure in addition to having realistic magnetic field structures and velocity shear. We find that shear has a strongly stabilizing effect on various modes of jet instability. Increasing shear stabilizes the fundamental pinch modes at long wavelengths and short wavelengths. Increasing shear also stabilizes the first reflection pinch modes at short wavelengths. Increasing shear has only a very modest stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at long wavelengths; however, increasing shear does have a strong stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at short wavelengths. The first reflection kink modes are strongly stabilized by increasing shear at shorter wavelengths. Overall, we find that the combined effect of magnetic field and shear stabilizes jets more than shear alone. In addition to the results from a formal linear stability analysis, we present a novel way of visualizing and understanding jet stability. This gives us a deeper understanding of the enhanced stability of sheared, magnetized jets. We also emphasize the value of our numerical approach in understanding the linear stability of jets with realistic structure.

  2. Numerical experiments on magnetic reconnection in solar flare and coronal mass ejection current sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Z.; Shen, C.; Wu, N.; Lin, J.; Murphy, N. A.; Roussev, I. I.

    2012-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection plays a critical role in energy conversion during solar eruptions. This paper presents a set of magnetohydrodynamic experiments for the magnetic reconnection process in a current sheet (CS) formed in the wake of the rising flux rope. The eruption results from the loss of equilibrium in a magnetic configuration that includes a current-carrying flux rope, representing a pre-existing filament. In order to study the fine structure and micro processes inside the CS, mesh refinement is used to reduce the numerical diffusion. We start with a uniform, explicitly defined resistivity which results in a Lundquist number S = 104 in the vicinity of CS. The use of mesh refinement allows the simulation to capture high-resolution features such as plasmoids from the tearing mode and plasmoid instability regions of turbulence and slow-mode shocks. Inside the CS, magnetic reconnection goes through the Sweet-Parker and the fractal stages, and eventually displays a time-dependent Petschek pattern. Our results support the concept of fractal reconnection suggested by Shibata et al. and Shibata & Tanuma, and also suggest that the CS evolves through Sweet-Parker reconnection prior to the fast reconnection stage. For the first time, the detailed features and/or fine structures inside the coronal mass ejection/flare CS in the eruption were investigated in this work.

  3. On the linear stability of sheared and magnetized jets without current sheets - non-relativistic case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jinho; Balsara, Dinshaw S.; Lyutikov, Maxim; Komissarov, Serguei S.

    2016-09-01

    In a prior paper, we considered the linear stability of magnetized jets that carry no net electric current and do not have current sheets. In this paper, in addition to physically well-motivated magnetic field structures, we also include the effects of jet shear. The jets we study have finite thermal pressure in addition to having realistic magnetic field structures and velocity shear. We find that shear has a strongly stabilizing effect on various modes of jet instability. Increasing shear stabilizes the fundamental pinch modes at long wavelengths and short wavelengths. Increasing shear also stabilizes the first reflection pinch modes at short wavelengths. Increasing shear has only a very modest stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at long wavelengths; however, increasing shear does have a strong stabilizing effect on the fundamental kink modes at short wavelengths. The first reflection kink modes are strongly stabilized by increasing shear at shorter wavelengths. Overall, we find that the combined effect of magnetic field and shear stabilizes jets more than shear alone. In addition to the results from a formal linear stability analysis, we present a novel way of visualizing and understanding jet stability. This gives us a deeper understanding of the enhanced stability of sheared, magnetized jets. We also emphasize the value of our numerical approach in understanding the linear stability of jets with realistic structure.

  4. Space Technology 5 Observations of Auroral Field-Aligned Currents

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slavin, James

    2008-01-01

    During its three month long technology validation mission, Space Technology 5 (ST-5) returned high quality multi-point measurements of the near-Earth magnetic field. Its three micro-satellites were launched into a 300 x 4500 km, dawn - dusk, sun synchronous orbit (inclination = 105.60) orbit with a period of 138 min by a Pegasus launch vehicle on March 22, 2006. The spacecraft were maintained in a "pearls on a sting" constellation with controlled spacings ranging from just over 5000 km down to under 50 km. The individual micro-satellites were 48 cm tall octagons with diameters of 50 cm. They were spin-stabilized at approximately 20 rpm at deployment and slowly spun-down to about 15 rpm by the end of the mission. Each spacecraft carried a miniature tri-axial fluxgate magnetometer (MAG) provided by the University of California at Los Angeles mounted at the end of a ultra-low mass 72 cm boom. These data allow, for the first time, the separation of temporal and spatial variations in field-aligned current (FAC) perturbations measured in low-Earth orbit on time scales of 10 sec to 10 min. The constellation measurements are used to directly determine field-aligned current sheet motion, thickness. and current density. Two multi-point methods for the inference of FAC current density that have not previously been possible in low-Earth orbit are demonstrated: 1) the -standard method." based upon s/c velocity, but corrected for FAC current sheet motion. and 2) the "gradiometer method" which uses simultaneous magnetic field measurements at two points with known separation. Future studies will apply these methods to the entire ST-5 data sct and expand to include horizontal ionospheric currents. ULF waves and geomagnetic field gradient analyses.

  5. Space Technology 5 observations of auroral field-aligned currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slavin, James

    During its three month long technology validation mission, Space Technology 5 (ST-5) returned high quality multi-point measurements of the near-Earth magnetic field. Its three micro-satellites were launched into a 300 x 4500 km, dawn - dusk, sun synchronous orbit (inclination = 105.6o) orbit with a period of 138 min by a Pegasus launch vehicle on March 22, 2006. The spacecraft were maintained in a "pearls on a sting" constellation with controlled spacings ranging from just over 5000 km down to under 50 km. The individual micro-satellites were 48 cm tall octagons with diameters of 50 cm. They were spin-stabilized at approximately 20 rpm at deployment and slowly spun-down to about 15 rpm by the end of the mission. Each spacecraft carried a miniature tri-axial fluxgate magnetometer (MAG) provided by the University of California at Los Angeles mounted at the end of a ultra-low mass 72 cm boom. These data allow, for the first time, the separation of temporal and spatial variations in field-aligned current (FAC) perturbations measured in low-Earth orbit on time scales of 10 sec to 10 min. The constellation measurements are used to directly determine field-aligned current sheet motion, thickness, and current density. Two multi-point methods for the inference of FAC current density that have not previously been possible in low-Earth orbit are demonstrated: 1) the "standard method," based upon s/c velocity, but corrected for FAC current sheet motion, and 2) the "gradiometer method" which uses simultaneous magnetic field measurements at two points with known separation. Future studies will apply these methods to the entire ST-5 data set and expand to include horizontal ionospheric currents, ULF waves and geomagnetic field gradient analyses.

  6. Electron distributions observed with Langmuir waves in the plasma sheet boundary layer

    SciTech Connect

    Hwang, Junga; Rha, Kicheol; Seough, Jungjoon; Yoon, Peter H.

    2014-09-15

    The present paper investigates the Langmuir turbulence driven by counter-streaming electron beams and its plausible association with observed features in the Earth's plasma sheet boundary layer region. A one-dimensional electrostatic particle-in-cell simulation code is employed in order to simulate broadband electrostatic waves with characteristic frequency in the vicinity of the electron plasma frequency ω/ω{sub pe}≃1.0. The present simulation confirms that the broadband electrostatic waves may indeed be generated by the counter-streaming electron beams. It is also found that the observed feature associated with low energy electrons, namely quasi-symmetric velocity space plateaus, are replicated according to the present simulation. However, the present investigation only partially succeeds in generating the suprathermal tails such that the origin of observed quasi power-law energetic population formation remains outstanding.

  7. Verification of quantitative relationship among Birkeland current sheet motion, intensity, and convective velocity, and also of criterion for expansion onset

    SciTech Connect

    Atkinson, G.

    1986-08-01

    In this paper, 14 substorms are used to verify the conclusions of an earlier paper on current sheet motions. These conclusions can be summarized as follows: (1) The quantitative relationship V-italic/sub N-italic/ = V-italic/sub C-italic//sub N-italic/ -k-italic/sub V-italic/I-italic/sub parallel/ is valid when applied to the upward current sheet in the premidnight quadrant except during the expansion and early recovery phases of substorms (V-italic/sub i//sub N-italic/ and V-italic/sub C-italic//sub N-italic/ are the components, normal to the sheet, of the sheet velocity and the convection velocity, k-italic/sub v-italic/ is a constant, and I-italic/sub parallel/ is the current sheet intensity). (2) At the time of local northward expansion of the auroras there appears to be a decrease by 1 order of magnitude of the amount of plasma on the flux tubes. (3) The time of initiation of local northward expansion occurs when V-italic/sub C-italic//sub N-italic/ = k-italic/sub V-italic/I-italic/sub parallel/. A few additional points emerge from this study: The above relationships are not valid at stations east of the location of initial onset of expansion, and the amount of plasma on flux tubes tends to return to its preexpansion value after a substorm. Further conclusions are (1) that the physical mechanism responsible for the northward expansion in a westward traveling surge is the same as in the initial near-midnight expansion, (2) that the triggering of expansion occurs just as the tail begins to recede away from the earth, and (3) that the apparent decrease in plasma content is consistent with the formation of a near-earth neutral line; however, it could also result from the breakdown of the sheet approximation for the currents.

  8. Geophysical observations from the South Pole region of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: Evidence for a subglacial lake?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, L. E.; Anandakrishnan, S. L.; Horgan, H. J.; Voigt, D. E.; Holland, C. W.

    2007-12-01

    Radio-echo sounding and satellite altimetry observations have been used to identify a catalog of well over one hundred subglacial lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. These lakes provide a unique laboratory for studying life in extreme environments, and may also contain paleoclimate records and ecological records that may date back as far as ~35 million years, when the Antarctic continent was ice-free. One of these lakes, which is near the South Pole (and is hereafter referred to as Lake Amundsen-Scott), is typical of many subglacial lakes in its radar signature and subglacial morphology. However, both temperature modeling and radar reflection strength modeling have cast doubts on the presence of free water at the base of the ice sheet near the South Pole. We set out to reconcile these contradictions and establish the truth behind Lake Amundsen-Scott through a series of geophysical techniques. Here we present the results of several geophysical experiments performed in the proposed Lake Amundsen- Scott region, along with temperature modeling of the local ice column. In the 2006-2007 Antarctic field season, we collected ~9 km of seismic reflection and refraction data, as well as ~15 km of ice-penetrating radar profiles, in order to characterize the firn, the local ice column, and the subglacial environment. Kinematic GPS measurements were also made to determine if basal conditions are reflected in the surface expression of the region. Our temperature modeling supports the potential for liquid water at the bed, suggesting that the base of the ice sheet is at the pressure melting point here. The amalgamation of these results will reveal whether or not Lake Amundsen-Scott truly exists, as well as determine the validity of similar lakes in the current subglacial lake inventory.

  9. Solar wind velocity distribution on the heliospheric current sheet during Carrington rotations 1787-1795

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bala, B.; Prabhakaran Nayar, S. R.

    1995-08-01

    The solar wind velocity distribution in the heliosphere is best represented using a v-map, where velocity contours are plotted in heliographic latitude-longitude coordinates. It has already been established that low-speed regions of the solar wind on the source surface correspond to the maximum bright regions of the K-corona and the neutral line of the coronal magnetic field. In this analysis, v-maps on the source surface for Carrington rotations (CRs) 1787-1795, during 1987, have been prepared using the interplanetary scintillation measurements at Research Institute of Atmospherics (RIA), Nagoya Univ., Japan. These v-maps were then used to study the time evolution of the low-speed (leq450 km s-1) belt of the solar wind and to deduce the distribution of solar wind velocity on the heliospheric current sheet. The low-speed belt of the solar wind on the source surface was found to change from one CR to the next, implying a time evolution. Instead of a slow and systematic evolution, the pattern of distribution of solar wind changed dramatically at one particular solar rotation (CR 1792) and the distributions for the succeeding rotations were similar to this pattern. The low-speed region, in most cases, was found to be close to the solar equator and almost parallel to it. However, during some solar rotations, they were found to be organised in certain longitudes, leaving regions with longitudinal width greater than 30° free of low-speed solar wind, i.e. these regions were occupied by solar wind with velocities greater than 450 km s-1. It is also noted from this study that the low-speed belt, in general, followed the neutral line of the coronal magnetic field, except in certain cases. The solar wind velocity on the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) varied in the range 300-585 km s-1 during the period of study, and the pattern of velocity distribution varied from rotation to rotation.

  10. Flow speed within the Antarctic ice sheet and its controls inferred from satellite observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arthern, Robert J.; Hindmarsh, Richard C. A.; Williams, C. Rosie

    2015-07-01

    Accurate dynamical models of the Antarctic ice sheet with carefully specified initial conditions and well-calibrated rheological parameters are needed to forecast global sea level. By adapting an inverse method previously used in electric impedance tomography, we infer present-day flow speeds within the ice sheet. This inversion uses satellite observations of surface velocity, snow accumulation rate, and rate of change of surface elevation to estimate the basal drag coefficient and an ice stiffness parameter that influences viscosity. We represent interior ice motion using a vertically integrated approximation to incompressible Stokes flow. This model represents vertical shearing within the ice and membrane stresses caused by horizontal stretching and shearing. Combining observations and model, we recover marked geographical variations in the basal drag coefficient. Relative changes in basal shear stress are smaller. No simple sliding law adequately represents basal shear stress as a function of sliding speed. Low basal shear stress predominates in central East Antarctica, where thick insulating ice allows liquid water at the base to lubricate sliding. Higher shear stress occurs in coastal East Antarctica, where a frozen bed is more likely. Examining Thwaites glacier in more detail shows that the slowest sliding often coincides with elevated basal topography. Differences between our results and a similar adjoint-based inversion suggest that inversion or regularization methods can influence recovered parameters for slow sliding and finer scales; on broader scales we recover a similar pattern of low basal drag underneath major ice streams and extensive regions in East Antarctica that move by basal sliding.

  11. Direct observations of evolving subglacial drainage beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Lauren C; Catania, Ginny A; Hoffman, Matthew J; Gulley, Jason D; Lüthi, Martin P; Ryser, Claudia; Hawley, Robert L; Neumann, Thomas A

    2014-10-01

    Seasonal acceleration of the Greenland Ice Sheet is influenced by the dynamic response of the subglacial hydrologic system to variability in meltwater delivery to the bed via crevasses and moulins (vertical conduits connecting supraglacial water to the bed of the ice sheet). As the melt season progresses, the subglacial hydrologic system drains supraglacial meltwater more efficiently, decreasing basal water pressure and moderating the ice velocity response to surface melting. However, limited direct observations of subglacial water pressure mean that the spatiotemporal evolution of the subglacial hydrologic system remains poorly understood. Here we show that ice velocity is well correlated with moulin hydraulic head but is out of phase with that of nearby (0.3-2 kilometres away) boreholes, indicating that moulins connect to an efficient, channelized component of the subglacial hydrologic system, which exerts the primary control on diurnal and multi-day changes in ice velocity. Our simultaneous measurements of moulin and borehole hydraulic head and ice velocity in the Paakitsoq region of western Greenland show that decreasing trends in ice velocity during the latter part of the melt season cannot be explained by changes in the ability of moulin-connected channels to convey supraglacial melt. Instead, these observations suggest that decreasing late-season ice velocity may be caused by changes in connectivity in unchannelized regions of the subglacial hydrologic system. Understanding this spatiotemporal variability in subglacial pressures is increasingly important because melt-season dynamics affect ice velocity beyond the conclusion of the melt season. PMID:25279921

  12. Observations of magnetic merging and the formation of the plasma sheet in the earth's magnetotail

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, R. P.; Anderson, K. A.; Mccoy, J. E.; Russell, C. T.

    1977-01-01

    Particle and magnetic field observations of the field line merging process in the earth's magnetotail are presented. By analyzing the lunar shadow pattern of electron fluxes detected by the lunar-orbiting Apollo 16 subsatellite it has been possible to identify the topology and to measure the velocity of the magnetotail field lines. The observations reported here were made as the moon crossed the separatrix between premerging and merged field lines. The measured field line velocities toward the merging region were 30-60 km/s, and the thickness of the separatrix was estimated to be about 2000 km. Most of the magnetic energy released in the merging process appears to go into the energization of particles. The length and the thickness of the merging region are inferred to be of the order of about 10 earth radii and about 4000 km, respectively. The energized particles travel away from the merging region along the separatrix. Those headed earthward may form the plasma sheet by being trapped on closed field lines. The rate of energization and the energy spectrum of those particles are consistent with those required for formation of the plasma sheet.

  13. Observations of field-aligned currents, waves, and electric fields at substorm onset

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smits, D. P.; Hughes, W. J.; Cattell, C. A.; Russell, C. T.

    1986-01-01

    Substorm onsets, identified Pi 2 pulsations observed on the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory Magnetometer Network, are studied using magnetometer and electric field data from ISEE 1 as well as magnetometer data from the geosynchronous satellites GOES 2 and 3. The mid-latitude magnetometer data provides the means of both timing and locating the substorm onset so that the spacecraft locations with respect to the substorm current systems are known. During two intervals, each containing several onsets or intensifications, ISEE 1 observed field-aligned current signatures beginning simultaneously with the mid-latitude Pi 2 pulsation. Close to the earth broadband bursts of wave noise were observed in the electric field data whenever field-aligned currents were detected. One onset occurred when ISEE 1 and GOES 2 were on the same field line but in opposite hemispheres. During this onset ISEE 1 and GOES 2 saw magnetic signatures which appear to be due to conjugate field-aligned currents flowing out of the western end of the westward auroral electrojets. The ISEE 1 signature is of a line current moving westward past the spacecraft. During the other interval, ISEE 1 was in the near-tail region near the midnight meridian. Plasma data confirms that the plasma sheet thinned and subsequently expanded at onset. Electric field data shows that the plasma moved in the opposite direction to the plasma sheet boundary as the boundary expanded which implies that there must have been an abundant source of hot plasma present. The plasma motion was towards the center of the plasma sheet and earthwards and consisted of a series of pulses rather than a steady flow.

  14. Controlling Influence of Magnetic Field on Solar Wind Outflow: An Investigation using Current Sheet Source Surface Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poduval, Bala

    2016-05-01

    The Wang and Sheeley empirical relationship between magnetic flux tube expansion (FTE) in the inner corona and the solar wind speed (SWS) observed near the Earth's orbit forms the basis of current solar wind prediction techniques such as WSA/ENLIL. Based on this concept, the Current Sheet Source Surface (CSSS) model, built on a corona in magnetostatic equilibrium incorporating electric currents, has recently been validated for solar wind prediction. We present the initial results of an investigation of the influence of solar magnetic field in determining the solar wind outflow using the CSSS model. We found that there is significant temporal variation in the functional form of FTE--SWS relation and that the accuracy of CSSS predictions are nearly twice better than the PFSS predcitions. We attribute the greater accuracy of CSSS predictions to the model's capability to trace the solar wind sources better than the PFSS model and, perhaps, the treatment of electric currents in the inner corona in the CSSS model.Synoptic maps of coronal magnetic field, similar to the photospheric ones, are still a long way away, though techniques are under development, especially using the Coronal Multi-Channel Polarimeter data. And the near--Sun regions below 0.3 AU remain unexplored until Solar Probe Plus and Solar Orbiter are launched. A well-validated model of the corona capable of providing reliable solar wind conditions in the near-Sun region will be of great use in interpreting the data collected by these spacecraft. The magnetohydrodynamic models such as ENLIL for space weather prediction, require ambient plasma and magnetic field information at their inner boundaries, usually provided by magnetostatic models, such as PFSS, in the absence of sufficient observational data. Our present work is an attempt to provide methods to generate reliable solar wind conditions in the near-Sun region.

  15. Satellite observation of winter season subsurface liquid melt water retention on the Greenland ice sheet using spectroradiometer and scatterometer data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. Z.; Forster, R. R.; Long, D. G.; Brewer, S.

    2013-12-01

    The recently discovered perennial firn aquifer (PFA) represents a new glacier facie and a previously undefined liquid water storage mechanism on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). The current hypothesis suggests that at least two geophysical processes control the formation of the PFA: 1) high melt rates that saturate snow and firn layers with liquid water during the melt season, and 2) high snow accumulation rates that subsequently insulate this saturated layer allowing it to be retained in liquid form during the winter season. The PFA is potentially an important component in ice sheet mass and energy budget calculations, however, large-scale observations linking surface melt, subsurface liquid melt water retention, and the PFA currently do not exist. Satellite-borne spectroradiometers and scatterometers are frequently used to detect the presence of liquid water content over the GrIS. The sensor's penetration depth is dependent on the frequency (which determines wavelength) and time-varying geophysical properties (which determine absorption and scattering characteristics). At shorter spectral wavelengths, penetration depths are limited at the interface between the ice sheet surface and the atmosphere. Spectroradiometer-derived retrievals of liquid water content represent an integrated response on the order of a few millimeters. At longer microwave wavelengths (C- and Ku-band), penetration depths are increased. Scatterometer-derived retrievals of liquid water content represent an integrated response on the order of a few centimeters to several meters. We combine spectroradiometer data acquired from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer aboard Terra and Aqua (MODIS) and C- and Ku-band scatterometer data acquired from MetOP-A (ASCAT) and OceanSAT-2 (OSCAT) to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of subsurface liquid water content on the GrIS. Penetration depth differences are exploited to distinguish between the detection of liquid water content

  16. O+ ion conic and plasma sheet dynamics observed by Van Allen Probe satellites during the 1 June 2013 magnetic storm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, W. J.; Erickson, P. J.; Yang, J.; Foster, J.; Wygant, J.; Reeves, G.; Kletzing, C.

    2016-05-01

    The Van Allen Probe satellites were near apogee in the late evening local time sector during the 1 June 2013 magnetic storm's main phase. About an hour after crossing the ring current's "nose structure" into the plasma sheet, the satellites encountered a quasiperiodic sequence of 0.08-3 keV O+ ions. Pitch angle distributions of this population consistently peaked nearly antiparallel to the local magnetic field. We interpret this population as O+ conics originating in the northern ionosphere. Sequences began as fairly steady state conic fluxes with energies in the ~ 80 to 100 eV range. Over about a half hour buildup phase, O+ energies peaked near 1 keV. During subsequent release phases lasting ~ 20 min, O+ energies returned to low-energy starting points. We argue these observations reflect repeated formations and dissolutions of downward, magnetically aligned electric fields (ɛ||) layers trapping O+ conics between mirror points within heating layers below and electrostatic barriers above. Nearly identical variations were observed at the locations of both satellites during 9 of these 13 conic cycles. Phase differences between cycles were observed at both spacecraft during the remaining events. Most "buildup" to "release" phase transitions coincided with AL index minima. However, in situ magnetometer measurements indicate only weak dipolarizations of tail-like magnetic fields. The lack of field-aligned reflected O+ and tail-like magnetic fields suggest that both ionospheres may be active. However, Southern Hemisphere origin conics cannot be observed since they would be isotropized and accelerated during neutral sheet crossings.

  17. Observations of a nonthermal ion layer at the plasma sheet boundary during substorm recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moebius, E.; Scholer, M.; Hovestadt, D.; Klecker, B.; Ipavich, F. M.; Gloeckler, G.

    1980-01-01

    Measurements of the energy and angular distributions of energetic protons and alpha particles (not less than 30 keV/charge) in the geomagnetic tail are presented. The measurements were made during the recovery phase of a geomagnetic substorm on Apr. 19, 1978, with the Max-Planck-Institut/University of Maryland sensor system on the Isee 1 satellite. The measurements were also correlated with plasma observations made by the LASL/MPE instrument on Isee 1. The data reveal the presence of a thin nonthermal layer of protons and alpha particles at the plasma sheet boundary. The particles have their maximum flux at 60 keV/charge and are streaming highly collimated in the earthward direction. The alpha particle layer is confined within the proton layer. Many aspects of the observations are in agreement with an acceleration model near the neutral line proposed by Jaeger and Speiser (1974)

  18. Observations of Pronounced Greenland Ice Sheet Firn Warming and Implications for Runoff Production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polashenski, Chris; Courville, Zoe; Benson, Carl; Wagner, Anna; Chen, Justin; Wong, Gifford; Hawley, Robert; Hall, Dorothy

    2014-01-01

    Field measurements of shallow borehole temperatures in firn across the northern Greenland ice sheet are collected during May 2013. Sites first measured in 19521955 are revisited, showing long-term trends in firn temperature. Results indicate a pattern of substantial firn warming (up to +5.7C) at midlevel elevations (1400-2500 m) and little temperature change at high elevations (2500 m). We find that latent heat transport into the firn due to meltwater percolation drives the observed warming. Modeling shows that heat is stored at depth for several years, and energy delivered from consecutive melt events accumulates in the firn. The observed warming is likely not yet in equilibrium with recent melt production rates but captures the progression of sites in the percolation facies toward net runoff production.

  19. Development of a Current Sheet in the Wake of a Fast Coronal Mass Ejection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, A. G.; Webb, D. F.; Burkepile, J. T.; Cliver, E. W.

    2014-04-01

    A bright ray that developed in the wake of a fast coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2005 September 7 presents a unique opportunity to study the early development and physical characteristics of a reconnecting current sheet (CS). Polarization brightness images from the Mk4 K-Coronameter at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory are used to determine the structure of the ray along its axis low in the corona as it progressed outward. Coverage of the early development of the ray out to ~1.3 R ⊙ for a period of ~27 hr after the start of the event enables for the first time in white light a measurement of a CME CS from the top of the arcade to the base of the flux rope. Measured widths of the ray are combined to obtain the kinematics of the upper and lower "Y"-points described in reconnection flux-rope models such as that of Lin & Forbes. The time dependence of these points are used to derive values for the speed and acceleration of the growth of the CS. We note the appearance of a large structure which increases in size as it expands outward in the early development of the ray and an apparent oscillation with a period of ~0.5 hr in the position angle of the ray.

  20. A two-fluid study of oblique tearing modes in a force-free current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akçay, Cihan; Daughton, William; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations have demonstrated that three-dimensional reconnection in collisionless regimes proceeds through the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which are generated due to the growth of tearing instabilities at multiple resonance surfaces. Since kinetic simulations are intrinsically expensive, it is desirable to explore the feasibility of reduced two-fluid models to capture this complex evolution, particularly, in the strong guide field regime, where two-fluid models are better justified. With this goal in mind, this paper compares the evolution of the collisionless tearing instability in a force-free current sheet with a two-fluid model and fully kinetic simulations. Our results indicate that the most unstable modes are oblique for guide fields larger than the reconnecting field, in agreement with the kinetic results. The standard two-fluid tearing theory is extended to address the tearing instability at oblique angles. The resulting theory yields a flat oblique spectrum and underestimates the growth of oblique modes in a similar manner to kinetic theory relative to kinetic simulations.

  1. PARTICLE ACCELERATION IN FRAGMENTING PERIODIC RECONNECTING CURRENT SHEETS IN SOLAR FLARES

    SciTech Connect

    Gordovskyy, M.; Browning, P. K.; Vekstein, G. E.

    2010-09-10

    Proton and electron acceleration in a fragmenting periodic current sheet (CS) is investigated, based on the forced magnetic reconnection scenario. The aim is to understand the role of CS fragmentation in high-energy beam generation in solar flares. We combine magnetohydrodynamics and test-particle models to consider particle trajectories consistent with a time-dependent reconnection model. It is shown that accelerated particles in such a model form two distinct populations. Protons and electrons moving in open magnetic field have energy spectra that are a combination of the initial Maxwellian distribution and a power-law high-energy (E>20 keV) part. The second population contains particles moving in a closed magnetic field around O-points. These particles move predominantly along the guiding field and their energies fall within quite a narrow range between {approx}1 MeV and {approx}10 MeV. It is also found that particles moving in an open magnetic field have a considerably wider pitch-angle distribution.

  2. Reconnection Properties of Large-scale Current Sheets During Coronal Mass Ejection Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, B. J.; Edmondson, J. K.; Kazachenko, M. D.; Guidoni, S. E.

    2016-07-01

    We present a detailed analysis of the properties of magnetic reconnection at large-scale current sheets (CSs) in a high cadence version of the Lynch & Edmondson 2.5D MHD simulation of sympathetic magnetic breakout eruptions from a pseudostreamer source region. We examine the resistive tearing and break-up of the three main CSs into chains of X- and O-type null points and follow the dynamics of magnetic island growth, their merging, transit, and ejection with the reconnection exhaust. For each CS, we quantify the evolution of the length-to-width aspect ratio (up to ∼100:1), Lundquist number (∼103), and reconnection rate (inflow-to-outflow ratios reaching ∼0.40). We examine the statistical and spectral properties of the fluctuations in the CSs resulting from the plasmoid instability, including the distribution of magnetic island area, mass, and flux content. We show that the temporal evolution of the spectral index of the reconnection-generated magnetic energy density fluctuations appear to reflect global properties of the CS evolution. Our results are in excellent agreement with recent, high-resolution reconnection-in-a-box simulations even though our CSs’ formation, growth, and dynamics are intrinsically coupled to the global evolution of sequential sympathetic coronal mass ejection eruptions.

  3. A two-fluid study of oblique tearing modes in a force-free current sheet

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Akçay, Cihan; Daughton, William; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations have demonstrated that three-dimensional reconnection in collisionless regimes proceeds through the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which are generated due to the growth of tearing instabilities at multiple resonance surfaces. Because kinetic simulations are intrinsically expensive, it is desirable to explore the feasibility of reduced two-fluid models to capture this complex evolution, particularly, in the strong guide field regime, where two-fluid models are better justified. With this goal in mind, this paper compares the evolution of the collisionless tearing instability in a force-free current sheet with a two-fluid model and fully kinetic simulations. Our results indicatemore » that the most unstable modes are oblique for guide fields larger than the reconnecting field, in agreement with the kinetic results. The standard two-fluid tearing theory is extended to address the tearing instability at oblique angles. As a results this theory yields a flat oblique spectrum and underestimates the growth of oblique modes in a similar manner to kinetic theory relative to kinetic simulations.« less

  4. A two-fluid study of oblique tearing modes in a force-free current sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Akçay, Cihan; Daughton, William; Lukin, Vyacheslav S.; Liu, Yi-Hsin

    2016-01-01

    Kinetic simulations have demonstrated that three-dimensional reconnection in collisionless regimes proceeds through the formation and interaction of magnetic flux ropes, which are generated due to the growth of tearing instabilities at multiple resonance surfaces. Because kinetic simulations are intrinsically expensive, it is desirable to explore the feasibility of reduced two-fluid models to capture this complex evolution, particularly, in the strong guide field regime, where two-fluid models are better justified. With this goal in mind, this paper compares the evolution of the collisionless tearing instability in a force-free current sheet with a two-fluid model and fully kinetic simulations. Our results indicate that the most unstable modes are oblique for guide fields larger than the reconnecting field, in agreement with the kinetic results. The standard two-fluid tearing theory is extended to address the tearing instability at oblique angles. As a results this theory yields a flat oblique spectrum and underestimates the growth of oblique modes in a similar manner to kinetic theory relative to kinetic simulations.

  5. Reconnection Properties of Large-scale Current Sheets During Coronal Mass Ejection Eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, B. J.; Edmondson, J. K.; Kazachenko, M. D.; Guidoni, S. E.

    2016-07-01

    We present a detailed analysis of the properties of magnetic reconnection at large-scale current sheets (CSs) in a high cadence version of the Lynch & Edmondson 2.5D MHD simulation of sympathetic magnetic breakout eruptions from a pseudostreamer source region. We examine the resistive tearing and break-up of the three main CSs into chains of X- and O-type null points and follow the dynamics of magnetic island growth, their merging, transit, and ejection with the reconnection exhaust. For each CS, we quantify the evolution of the length-to-width aspect ratio (up to ˜100:1), Lundquist number (˜103), and reconnection rate (inflow-to-outflow ratios reaching ˜0.40). We examine the statistical and spectral properties of the fluctuations in the CSs resulting from the plasmoid instability, including the distribution of magnetic island area, mass, and flux content. We show that the temporal evolution of the spectral index of the reconnection-generated magnetic energy density fluctuations appear to reflect global properties of the CS evolution. Our results are in excellent agreement with recent, high-resolution reconnection-in-a-box simulations even though our CSs’ formation, growth, and dynamics are intrinsically coupled to the global evolution of sequential sympathetic coronal mass ejection eruptions.

  6. Interactive desktop analysis of high resolution simulations: application to turbulent plume dynamics and current sheet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clyne, John; Mininni, Pablo; Norton, Alan; Rast, Mark

    2007-08-01

    The ever increasing processing capabilities of the supercomputers available to computational scientists today, combined with the need for higher and higher resolution computational grids, has resulted in deluges of simulation data. Yet the computational resources and tools required to make sense of these vast numerical outputs through subsequent analysis are often far from adequate, making such analysis of the data a painstaking, if not a hopeless, task. In this paper, we describe a new tool for the scientific investigation of massive computational datasets. This tool (VAPOR) employs data reduction, advanced visualization, and quantitative analysis operations to permit the interactive exploration of vast datasets using only a desktop PC equipped with a commodity graphics card. We describe VAPORs use in the study of two problems. The first, motivated by stellar envelope convection, investigates the hydrodynamic stability of compressible thermal starting plumes as they descend through a stratified layer of increasing density with depth. The second looks at current sheet formation in an incompressible helical magnetohydrodynamic flow to understand the early spontaneous development of quasi two-dimensional (2D) structures embedded within the 3D solution. Both of the problems were studied at sufficiently high spatial resolution, a grid of 5042 by 2048 points for the first and 15363 points for the second, to overwhelm the interactive capabilities of typically available analysis resources.

  7. Development of a current sheet in the wake of a fast coronal mass ejection

    SciTech Connect

    Ling, A. G.; Webb, D. F.; Burkepile, J. T.

    2014-04-01

    A bright ray that developed in the wake of a fast coronal mass ejection (CME) on 2005 September 7 presents a unique opportunity to study the early development and physical characteristics of a reconnecting current sheet (CS). Polarization brightness images from the Mk4 K-Coronameter at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory are used to determine the structure of the ray along its axis low in the corona as it progressed outward. Coverage of the early development of the ray out to ∼1.3 R {sub ☉} for a period of ∼27 hr after the start of the event enables for the first time in white light a measurement of a CME CS from the top of the arcade to the base of the flux rope. Measured widths of the ray are combined to obtain the kinematics of the upper and lower {sup Y-}points described in reconnection flux-rope models such as that of Lin and Forbes. The time dependence of these points are used to derive values for the speed and acceleration of the growth of the CS. We note the appearance of a large structure which increases in size as it expands outward in the early development of the ray and an apparent oscillation with a period of ∼0.5 hr in the position angle of the ray.

  8. Greenland ice sheet melt area, volume, and runoff from satellite and in situ observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van As, D.; Box, J. E.; Fausto, R. S.; Petersen, D.; Citterio, M.; Ahlstrom, A. P.; Andersen, S. B.; Steffen, K.

    2013-12-01

    Remote sensing provides surface melt area and regional mass change. In situ automatic weather station (AWS) data provide a relatively precise, but very local surface mass budget. Combining the two methods allows melt quantification for the entire Greenland ice sheet. We use interpolated near-surface air temperature from the GC-Net and PROMICE AWS networks, and remotely-sensed MODIS surface albedo to calculate melt with a temperature/albedo-index melt model. The calculations make use of albedo, combined with top-of-the-atmosphere solar radiation and cloud cover, to take into account absorbed shortwave radiation, the dominant melt parameter. In so doing the darkening due to the melt-albedo feedback is accounted. Calculated ablation is calibrated using AWS data. Assuming that surface albedo is a first-order indicator of the firn's available pore space and cold content, refreezing is parameterized as a function of it. Meltwater runoff for selected catchments is validated with river discharge data. The product: observation-based daily maps of near-surface air temperature, melt (extent and volume), and runoff for the Greenland ice sheet.

  9. Metallurgical Effects of Shunting Current on Resistance Spot-Welded Joints of AA2219 Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jafari Vardanjani, M.; Araee, A.; Senkara, J.; Jakubowski, J.; Godek, J.

    2016-06-01

    Shunting effect is the loss of electrical current via the secondary circuit provided due to the existence of previous nugget in a series of welding spots. This phenomenon influences on metallurgical aspects of resistance spot-welded (RSW) joints in terms of quality and performance. In this paper RSW joints of AA2219 sheets with 1 mm thickness are investigated metallurgically for shunted and single spots. An electro-thermal finite element analysis is performed on the RSW process of shunted spot and temperature distribution and variation are obtained. These predictions are then compared with experimental micrographs. Three values of 5 mm, 20 mm, and infinite (i.e., single spot) are assumed for welding distance. Numerical and experimental results are matching each other in terms of nugget and HAZ geometry as increasing distance raised nugget size and symmetry of HAZ. In addition, important effect of shunting current on nugget thickness, microstructure, and Copper segregation on HAZ grain boundaries were discovered. A quantitative analysis is also performed about the influence of welding distance on important properties including ratio of nugget thickness and diameter (r t), ratio of HAZ area on shunted and free side of nugget (r HA), and ratio of equivalent segregated and total amount of Copper, measured in sample (r Cu) on HAZ. Increasing distance from 5 mm to infinite, indicated a gain of 111.04, -45.55, and -75.15% in r t, r HA, and r Cu, respectively, while obtained ratios for 20 mm welding distance was suitable compared to single spot.

  10. Paradigmatic flow for small-scale magnetohydrodynamics: properties of the ideal case and the collision of current sheets.

    PubMed

    Lee, E; Brachet, M E; Pouquet, A; Mininni, P D; Rosenberg, D

    2008-12-01

    We propose two sets of initial conditions for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in which both the velocity and the magnetic fields have spatial symmetries that are preserved by the dynamical equations as the system evolves. When implemented numerically they allow for substantial savings in CPU time and memory storage requirements for a given resolved scale separation. Basic properties of these Taylor-Green flows generalized to MHD are given, and the ideal nondissipative case is studied up to the equivalent of 2048;{3} grid points for one of these flows. The temporal evolution of the logarithmic decrements delta of the energy spectrum remains exponential at the highest spatial resolution considered, for which an acceleration is observed briefly before the grid resolution is reached. Up to the end of the exponential decay of delta , the behavior is consistent with a regular flow with no appearance of a singularity. The subsequent short acceleration in the formation of small magnetic scales can be associated with a near collision of two current sheets driven together by magnetic pressure. It leads to strong gradients with a fast rotation of the direction of the magnetic field, a feature also observed in the solar wind. PMID:19256956

  11. Thermal structure of current sheets and supra-arcade downflows in the solar corona

    SciTech Connect

    Hanneman, Will J.; Reeves, Katharine K. E-mail: kreeves@cfa.harvard.edu

    2014-05-10

    After the peak intensity of many large solar flares, magnetic and thermodynamic processes give rise to a phenomenon known as supra-arcade downflows (SADs). SADs are sunward flowing density depletions, often observed in post-flare plasma sheets. Some models have suggested that the plasma in the dark lanes is heated to temperatures of 20-80 MK, which is much hotter than temperatures of the surrounding plasma. In this work, we use data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory and the X-Ray Telescope on the Hinode satellite to determine the thermal structure of SADs in the solar corona. We examine four flares that took place on 2011 October 22, 2012 January 14, 2012 January 16, and 2012 January 27. Differential emission measures are calculated for each flare and we compare the temperatures in the SADs to those of the surrounding plasma. We find that the SADs are hotter than the background, but cooler than the surrounding plasma in most cases, with only 1 out of the 11 SADs examined here having a slightly higher temperature than its surroundings.

  12. Comparing Different Models for Fast Earthward Flows in the Magnetotail: Moving Flux Ropes, Unsteady Reconnection, Pressure-Depleted Plasma Bubbles, and Atypical Currents Sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sitnov, M. I.; Runov, A. V.; Ohtani, S.

    2007-12-01

    The physics of fast earthward flows or BBFs, a major mechanism of bursty transfer of the plasma and magnetic flux in the terrestrial magnetotail, remains uncertain and controversial. A part of observations can be explained as signatures of earthward moving flux ropes or secondary plasmoids dragged by the earthward part a larger-scale reconnection region [Slavin et al., 2003]. The statistics of variations of the z-component of the magnetospheric magnetic field in the central plasma sheet [Ohtani et al., 2004] suggest no changes of the magnetic field topology for another group of BBFs. These observations can be explained as signatures of either unsteady reconnection, which remains located tailward of the spacecraft, or other phenomena that are connected but not identical to reconnection in its active phase. These are the plasma bubbles, flux tubes with the reduced specific entropy that may move earthward faster than the neighboring flux tubes due to the buoyancy force. However, the original model of bubbles arising from local reductions of the plasma pressure [Pontius and Wolf, 1990] also explains only a part of observations. Another part [Angelopoulos et al., 1992] reveals no reduction of the plasma pressure in BBFs. One more model, which explains both missing magnetic topology changes and no reduction of the plasma pressure [Sitnov et al., 2005] describes the bubble as a seam in the body of the tail plasma, which appears after the formation and tailward retreat of a small plasmoid, and which is composed of atypical, embedded and bifurcated thin current sheets. Signatures of such atypical current sheets have been convincingly demonstrated recently in CLUSTER observations [Runov et al., 2003]. In this presentation we elaborate the BBF models and compare them with 2001 and 2002 tail CLUSTER observations in the central plasma sheet. These include full-particle simulations of the secondary plasmoid formation in tail-like systems, two- and three- dimensional features and

  13. A statistical study of the THEMIS satellite data for plasma sheet electrons carrying auroral upward field-aligned currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Shiokawa, K.; McFadden, J. P.

    2010-12-01

    The magnetospheric electron precipitation along the upward field-aligned currents without the potential difference causes diffuse aurora, and the magnetospheric electrons accelerated by a field-aligned potential difference cause the intense and bright type of aurora, namely discrete aurora. In this study, we are trying to find out when and where the aurora can be caused with or without electron acceleration. We statistically investigate electron density, temperature, thermal current, and conductivity in the plasma sheet using the data from the electrostatic analyzer (ESA) onboard the THEMIS-D satellite launched in 2007. According to Knight (Planet. Space Sci., 1973) and Lyons (JGR, 1980), the thermal current, jth(∝ nT^(1/2) where n is electron density and T is electron temperature in the plasma sheet), represents the upper limit to field aligned current that can be carried by magnetospheric electrons without field-aligned potential difference. The conductivity, K(∝ nT^(-1/2)), represents the efficiency of the upward field-aligned current (j) that the field-aligned potential difference (V) can produce (j=KV). Therefore, estimating jth and K in the plasma sheet is important in understanding the ability of plasma sheet electrons to carry the field-aligned current which is driven by various magnetospheric processes such as flow shear and azimuthal pressure gradient. Similar study was done by Shiokawa et al. (2000) based on the auroral electron data obtained by the DMSP satellites above the auroral oval and the AMPTE/IRM satellite in the near Earth plasma sheet at 10-18 Re on February-June 1985 and March-June 1986 during the solar minimum. The purpose of our study is to examine auroral electrons with pitch angle information inside 12 Re where Shiokawa et al. (2000) did not investigate well. For preliminary result, we found that in the dawn side inner magnetosphere (source of the region 2 current), electrons can make sufficient thermal current without field

  14. Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Observations of Glaciers, Ice Sheets, Sea Ice and Snow Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzfeld Mayer, M. U.

    2015-12-01

    Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are being used increasingly in observations of the Earth, especially as such UAS become smaller, lighter and hence less expensive. In this paper, we present examples of observations of snow fields, glaciers and ice sheets and of sea ice in the Arctic that have been collected from UAS. We further examine possibilities for instrument miniaturization, using smaller UAS and smaller sensors for collecting data. The quality and type of data is compared to that of satellite observations, observations from manned aircraft and to measurements made during field experiments on the ground. For example, a small UAS can be sent out to observe a sudden event, such as a natural catastrophe, and provide high-resolution imagery, but a satellite has the advantage of providing the same type of data over much of the Earth's surface and for several years, but the data is generally of lower resolution. Data collected on the ground typically have the best control and quality, but the survey area is usually small. Here we compare micro-topographic measurements made on snow fields the Colorado Rocky Mountains with airborne and satellite data.

  15. Development and verification of child observation sheet for 5-year-old children.

    PubMed

    Fujimoto, Keiko; Nagai, Toshisaburo; Okazaki, Shin; Kawajiri, Mie; Tomiwa, Kiyotaka

    2014-02-01

    The aim of the study was to develop a newly devised child observation sheet (COS-5) as a scoring sheet, based on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), for use in the developmental evaluation of 5-year-old children, especially focusing on children with autistic features, and to verify its validity. Seventy-six children were studied. The children were recruited among participants of the Japan Children's Cohort Study, a research program implemented by the Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX) from 2004 to 2009. The developmental evaluation procedure was performed by doctors, clinical psychologists, and public health nurses. The COS-5 was also partly based on the Kyoto Scale of Psychological Development 2001 (Kyoto Scale 2001). Further, the Developmental Disorders Screening Questionnaire for 5-Years-Olds, PDD-Autism Society Japan Rating Scale (PARS), doctor interview questions and neurological examination for 5-year-old children, and the Draw-a-Man Test (DAM) were used as evaluation scales. Eighteen (25.4%) children were rated as Suspected, including Suspected PDD, Suspected ADHD and Suspected MR. The COS-5 was suggested to be valid with favorable reliability (α=0.89) and correlation with other evaluation scales. The COS-5 may be useful, with the following advantages: it can be performed within a shorter time frame; it facilitates the maintenance of observation quality; it facilitates sharing information with other professions; and it is reliable to identify the autistic features of 5-year-old children. In order to verify its wider applications including the screening of infants (18months to 3years old) by adjusting the items of younger age, additional study is needed. PMID:23415454

  16. Roles of magnetic reconnection and buoyancy in the formation of dipolarization fronts: three-dimensional particle simulations of two-dimensional current sheet equilibria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knizhnik, K.; Sitnov, M. I.; Swisdak, M. M.

    2012-12-01

    Unsteady magnetic reconnection in the magnetosphere and in the solar corona involves the formation of localized ejecta, such as the magnetotail dipolarization fronts (DFs) and coronal supra-arcade downflowing loops (SADLs). Both DFs and SADLs move in the direction opposite to the initial magnetic field stretching with a speed comparable to the Alfven speed. However, the DF scales are comparable to the ion gyro radius and therefore their analysis requires kinetic theory and simulations. Recent kinetic theory and PIC simulations of 2D magnetotail equilibria revealed two possible mechanisms of the DF formation, namely mutual attraction of parallel current filaments in thin current sheets causing magnetic reconnection via the tearing instability and magnetic buoyancy resulting in the ballooning-interchange instability. Both mechanisms are most efficient in the geometries with accumulation of magnetic flux at the tailward end of a thin current sheet. To understand the roles of magnetic reconnection and buoyancy in the formation and evolution of DFs we perform 3D PIC simulations of 2D current sheets, where two magnetotails are separated by an equilibrium X-line. To justify modeling the long terrestrial magnetotail in a relatively small simulation box: Lx x Ly x Lz= 40d x 20d x 5d (d is the ion inertial length; GSM coordinate system is used) open boundary conditions are employed in the x-direction. The magnetotail parts of the 2D equilibrium include regions of accumulated magnetic flux, consistent with the Geotail observations of similar signatures prior to substorm onset. We investigate which of the mechanisms is responsible for the formation of DF-like structures in 3D configurations and discuss their subsequent motion and structure. Simulations are compared with recent THEMIS observations of DFs and ballooning-interchange oscillations in the magnetotail, as well as SDO observations of solar flares.

  17. Nonlinear evolution of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in the double current sheet configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Aohua; Li, Jiquan; Liu, Jinyuan; Kishimoto, Yasuaki

    2016-03-01

    The nonlinear evolution of the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability driven by a radially antisymmetric shear flow in the double current sheet configuration is numerically investigated based on a reduced magnetohydrodynamic model. Simulations reveal different nonlinear fate of the KH instability depending on the amplitude of the shear flow, which restricts the strength of the KH instability. For strong shear flows far above the KH instability threshold, the linear electrostatic-type KH instability saturates and achieves a vortex flow dominated quasi-steady state of the electromagnetic (EM) KH turbulence with large-amplitude zonal flows as well as zonal fields. The magnetic surfaces are twisted significantly due to strong vortices but without the formation of magnetic islands. However, for the shear flow just over the KH instability threshold, a weak EM-type KH instability is saturated and remarkably damped by zonal flows through modifying the equilibrium shear flow. Interestingly, a secondary double tearing mode (DTM) is excited subsequently in highly damped KH turbulence, behaving as a pure DTM in a flowing plasma as described in Mao et al. [Phys. Plasmas 21, 052304 (2014)]. However, the explosive growth phenomenon is replaced by a gradually growing oscillation due to the extremely twisted islands. As a result, the release of the magnetic energy becomes slow and the global magnetic reconnection tends to be gentle. A complex nonlinear interaction between the EM KH turbulence and the DTMs occurs for the medium shear flows above the KH instability threshold, turbulent EM fluctuations experience oscillatory nonlinear growth of the DTMs, finally achieves a quasi-steady state with the interplay of the fluctuations between the DTMs and the EM KH instability.

  18. ASYMMETRIC MAGNETIC RECONNECTION IN SOLAR FLARE AND CORONAL MASS EJECTION CURRENT SHEETS

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, N. A.; Miralles, M. P.; Pope, C. L.; Raymond, J. C.; Winter, H. D.; Reeves, K. K.; Van Ballegooijen, A. A.; Lin, J.; Seaton, D. B.

    2012-05-20

    We present two-dimensional resistive magnetohydrodynamic simulations of line-tied asymmetric magnetic reconnection in the context of solar flare and coronal mass ejection current sheets. The reconnection process is made asymmetric along the inflow direction by allowing the initial upstream magnetic field strengths and densities to differ, and along the outflow direction by placing the initial perturbation near a conducting wall boundary that represents the photosphere. When the upstream magnetic fields are asymmetric, the post-flare loop structure is distorted into a characteristic skewed candle flame shape. The simulations can thus be used to provide constraints on the reconnection asymmetry in post-flare loops. More hard X-ray emission is expected to occur at the footpoint on the weak magnetic field side because energetic particles are more likely to escape the magnetic mirror there than at the strong magnetic field footpoint. The footpoint on the weak magnetic field side is predicted to move more quickly because of the requirement in two dimensions that equal amounts of flux must be reconnected from each upstream region. The X-line drifts away from the conducting wall in all simulations with asymmetric outflow and into the strong magnetic field region during most of the simulations with asymmetric inflow. There is net plasma flow across the X-line for both the inflow and outflow directions. The reconnection exhaust directed away from the obstructing wall is significantly faster than the exhaust directed toward it. The asymmetric inflow condition allows net vorticity in the rising outflow plasmoid which would appear as rolling motions about the flux rope axis.

  19. Experimental study of nonlinear interaction of plasma flow with charged thin current sheets: 1. Boundary structure and motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amata, E.; Savin, S.; André, M.; Dunlop, M.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Marcucci, M. F.; Fazakerley, A.; Bogdanova, Y. V.; Décréau, P. M. E.; Rauch, J. L.; Trotignon, J. G.; Skalsky, A.; Romanov, S.; Buechner, J.; Blecki, J.; Rème, H.

    2006-08-01

    We study plasma transport at a thin magnetopause (MP), described hereafter as a thin current sheet (TCS), observed by Cluster at the southern cusp on 13 February 2001 around 20:01 UT. The Cluster observations generally agree with the predictions of the Gas Dynamic Convection Field (GDCF) model in the magnetosheath (MSH) up to the MSH boundary layer, where significant differences are seen. We find for the MP a normal roughly along the GSE x-axis, which implies a clear departure from the local average MP normal, a ~90 km thickness and an outward speed of 35 km/s. Two populations are identified in the MSH boundary layer: the first one roughly perpendicular to the MSH magnetic field, which we interpret as the "incident" MSH plasma, the second one mostly parallel to B. Just after the MP crossing a velocity jet is observed with a peak speed of 240 km/s, perpendicular to B, with MA=3 and β>10 (peak value 23). The magnetic field clock angle rotates by 70° across the MP. Ex is the main electric field component on both sides of the MP, displaying a bipolar signature, positive on the MSH side and negative on the opposite side, corresponding to a ~300 V electric potential jump across the TCS. The E×B velocity generally coincides with the perpendicular velocity measured by CIS; however, in the speed jet a difference between the two is observed, which suggests the need for an extra flow source. We propose that the MP TCS can act locally as an obstacle for low-energy ions (<350 eV), being transparent for ions with larger gyroradius. As a result, the penetration of plasma by finite gyroradius is considered as a possible source for the jet. The role of reconnection is briefly discussed. The electrodynamics of the TCS along with mass and momentum transfer across it are further discussed in the companion paper by Savin et al. (2006).

  20. Experimental investigation of possible geomagnetic feedback from energetic (0.1 to 16 keV) terrestrial O(+) ions in the magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lennartsson, O. W.; Klumpar, D. M.; Shelley, E. G.; Quinn, J. M.

    1994-01-01

    Data from energetic ion mass spectrometers on the ISEE 1 and AMPTE/CCE spacecraft are combined with geomagnetic and solar indices to investigate, in a statistical fashion, whether energized O(+) ions of terrestrial origin constitute a source of feedback which triggers or amplifies geomagnetic activity as has been suggested in the literature, by contributing a destabilizing mass increase in the magnetotail current sheet. The ISEE 1 data (0.1-16 keV/e) provide in situ observations of the O(+) concentration in the central plasma sheet, inside of 23 R(sub E), during the rising and maximum phases of solar cycle 21, as well as inner magnetosphere data from same period. The CCE data (0.1-17 keV/e) taken during the subsequent solar minimum all within 9 R(sub E). provide a reference for long-term variations in the magnetosphere O(+) content. Statistical correlations between the ion data and the indices, and between different indices. all point in the same direction: there is probably no feedback specific to the O(+) ions, in spite of the fact that they often contribute most of the ion mass density in the tail current sheet.

  1. Substorms with multiple intensifications: Post-onset plasma sheet thinnings in the morning sector observed by Prognoz-8

    SciTech Connect

    Popielawska, B.; Koperski, P.; Grygorczuk, J.; Oberc, P.

    1996-03-15

    The authors present satellite observations of plasma sheet thinning made in the magnetotail between 8 and 11 R{sub E} from crossings made by Prognoz-8. The authors describe measurements of plasma properties, wave activity, and magnetic fields signatures recorded during these events. This data is correlated with other satellite observations and ground based auroral activity.

  2. Spatial and Temporal Variations of Surface Characteristics on the Greenland Ice Sheet as Derived from Passive Microwave Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Mark; Rowe, Clinton; Kuivinen, Karl; Mote, Thomas

    1996-01-01

    The primary goals of this research were to identify and begin to comprehend the spatial and temporal variations in surface characteristics of the Greenland ice sheet using passive microwave observations, physically-based models of the snowpack and field observations of snowpack and firn properties.

  3. An Optimal Current Observer for Predictive Current Controlled Buck DC-DC Converters

    PubMed Central

    Min, Run; Chen, Chen; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zou, Xuecheng; Tong, Qiaoling; Zhang, Qiao

    2014-01-01

    In digital current mode controlled DC-DC converters, conventional current sensors might not provide isolation at a minimized price, power loss and size. Therefore, a current observer which can be realized based on the digital circuit itself, is a possible substitute. However, the observed current may diverge due to the parasitic resistors and the forward conduction voltage of the diode. Moreover, the divergence of the observed current will cause steady state errors in the output voltage. In this paper, an optimal current observer is proposed. It achieves the highest observation accuracy by compensating for all the known parasitic parameters. By employing the optimal current observer-based predictive current controller, a buck converter is implemented. The converter has a convergently and accurately observed inductor current, and shows preferable transient response than the conventional voltage mode controlled converter. Besides, costs, power loss and size are minimized since the strategy requires no additional hardware for current sensing. The effectiveness of the proposed optimal current observer is demonstrated experimentally. PMID:24854061

  4. An optimal current observer for predictive current controlled buck DC-DC converters.

    PubMed

    Min, Run; Chen, Chen; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zou, Xuecheng; Tong, Qiaoling; Zhang, Qiao

    2014-01-01

    In digital current mode controlled DC-DC converters, conventional current sensors might not provide isolation at a minimized price, power loss and size. Therefore, a current observer which can be realized based on the digital circuit itself, is a possible substitute. However, the observed current may diverge due to the parasitic resistors and the forward conduction voltage of the diode. Moreover, the divergence of the observed current will cause steady state errors in the output voltage. In this paper, an optimal current observer is proposed. It achieves the highest observation accuracy by compensating for all the known parasitic parameters. By employing the optimal current observer-based predictive current controller, a buck converter is implemented. The converter has a convergently and accurately observed inductor current, and shows preferable transient response than the conventional voltage mode controlled converter. Besides, costs, power loss and size are minimized since the strategy requires no additional hardware for current sensing. The effectiveness of the proposed optimal current observer is demonstrated experimentally. PMID:24854061

  5. A possible mechanism of the enhancement and maintenance of the shear magnetic field component in the current sheet of the Earth’s magnetotail

    SciTech Connect

    Grigorenko, E. E. Malova, H. V.; Malykhin, A. Yu.; Zelenyi, L. M.

    2015-01-15

    The influence of the shear magnetic field component, which is directed along the electric current in the current sheet (CS) of the Earth’s magnetotail and enhanced near the neutral plane of the CS, on the nonadiabatic dynamics of ions interacting with the CS is studied. The results of simulation of the nonadiabatic ion motion in the prescribed magnetic configuration similar to that observed in the magnetotail CS by the CLUSTER spacecraft demonstrated that, in the presence of some initial shear magnetic field, the north-south asymmetry in the ion reflection/refraction in the CS is observed. This asymmetry leads to the formation of an additional current system formed by the oppositely directed electric currents flowing in the northern and southern parts of the plasma sheet in the planes tangential to the CS plane and in the direction perpendicular to the direction of the electric current in the CS. The formation of this current system perhaps is responsible for the enhancement and further maintenance of the shear magnetic field near the neutral plane of the CS. The CS structure and ion dynamics observed in 17 intervals of the CS crossings by the CLUSTER spacecraft is analyzed. In these intervals, the shear magnetic field was increased near the neutral plane of the CS, so that the bell-shaped spatial distribution of this field across the CS plane was observed. The results of the present analysis confirm the suggested scenario of the enhancement of the shear magnetic field near the neutral plane of the CS due to the peculiarities of the nonadiabatic ion dynamics.

  6. Mesoscale current fields observed with a shipboard profiling acoustic current meter

    SciTech Connect

    Regier, L.

    1982-08-01

    Measurements of the near-surface currents obtained with a shipboard acoustic current meter during the POLYMODE Local Dynamics Experiment are discussed. The large-scale spatial structure of the directly measured currents is very similar to that obtained from simultaneous hydrographic observations assuming geostrophic dynamics. The vertical shear of geostrophic currents is half that observed directly, and the two are poorly correlated. Vertical shear is dominated by currents having spatial scales shorter than about 180 km and having no geostrophic signature. Although the shear of the ageostrophic component is clearly evident, estimation of the ageostrophic current is hampered by large experimental uncertainties.

  7. Investigation of a large solid angle pion channel for a medical application utilizing current sheets and solenoid elements

    SciTech Connect

    Sugimitsu, T.; Swenson, D.A.

    1980-05-01

    For the treatment of tumors with pi-minus mesons (pions), a pion channel with a large solid angle is essential. A parallel beam of uniform density and reasonable size at the patient position is favored from the practical point of view. A new pion channel with sixty toroidal current sheets and some solenoids is shown to meet these requirements. It would also be useful for some physics experiments using low-energy pion and muon beam.

  8. Comparisons of Simulated and Observed Stormtime Magnetic Intensities and Ion Densities in the Ring Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M. W.; Guild, T. B.; Lemon, C. L.; Schulz, M.

    2008-12-01

    Recent progress in ring current and plasma sheet modeling has shown the importance of a self-consistent treatment of particle transport and magnetic and electric fields in the inner magnetosphere. For example, the feedback of the ring current tends to mitigate the build-up of the asymmetric ring current and associated magnetic depressions during storm main phase. Models with and without self-consistency can lead to significantly different magnitudes and spatial distributions of plasma pressure and magnetic intensity during disturbed times. In this study we compare simulated and observed stormtime magnetic intensities and ion densities at geosynchronous altitude to test how well self-consistent simulations can simultaneously reproduce these quantities. We simulate the ring current and plasma sheet for conditions corresponding to the 12-14 August 2000 storm using the self-consistent Rice Convection Model-Equilibrium (RCM-E) [ Lemon et al., JGR, 2004]. Using the empirical IMF-dependent model of Tsyganenko and Mukai [JGR, 2003], we specify the plasma sheet pressure and density at 10 RE as the plasma boundary location in the RCM- E. We compare the simulated magnetic intensity at geosynchronous altitude (6.6 RE) with the magnetic intensity measured by magnetometers on the GOES G8, G10, and G11 satellites. The simulated ion densities at different magnetic local times are compared with those from the re-analysis model of LANL/MPA densities of O'Brien and Lemon [Space Weather, 2007]. This is a first step towards a more extensive comparison that will include other datasets, such as ion and magnetic field data from Polar, at locations closer to the Earth than geosynchronous altitude.

  9. Comparisons of Simulated and Observed Stormtime Magnetic Intensities and Ion Plasma Parameters in the Ring Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M. W.; Guild, T. B.; Lemon, C.; Roeder, J. L.; Le, G.; Schulz, M.

    2009-12-01

    Recent progress in ring current and plasma sheet modeling has shown the importance of a self-consistent treatment of particle transport and magnetic and electric fields in the inner magnetosphere. Models with and without self-consistency can lead to significantly different magnitudes and spatial distributions of plasma pressure and magnetic intensity during disturbed times. In this study we compare simulated and observed stormtime magnetic intensities (GOES and Polar/MFE) and ion densities (LANL/MPA and Polar/CAMMICE) to test how well self-consistent simulations can simultaneously reproduce these quantities. We simulate the ring current and plasma sheet for conditions corresponding to the 11 August 2000 storm using the self-consistent Rice Convection Model-Equilibrium (RCM-E) [Lemon et al., JGR, 2004] with a constant magnetopause location. Using the empirical IMF-dependent model of Tsyganenko and Mukai [JGR, 2003], we specify the plasma sheet pressure and density at 10 RE as the plasma boundary location in the RCM-E. The simulated ion densities at different magnetic local times agree fairly well with those from the re-analysis model of LANL/MPA densities of O’Brien and Lemon [Space Weather, 2007]. We compare the simulated magnetic intensity with the magnetic intensity measured by magnetometers on the GOES satellites at geosynchronous altitude (6.6 RE) and on the Polar satellite. Agreement between the simulated and observed magnetic intensities tends to agree better on the nightside than on the dayside in the inner magnetosphere. In particular, the model cannot account for observed drops in the dayside magnetic intensity during decreases in the solar wind pressure. We will modify the RCM-E to include a time-varying magnetopause location to simulate compressions and expansions associated with variations in the solar wind pressure. We investigate whether this will lead to improved agreement between the simulated and model magnetic intensities.

  10. The role of ring current particle injections: Global simulations and Van Allen Probes observations during 17 March 2013 storm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Yiqun; Jordanova, Vania; Welling, Dan; Larsen, Brian; Claudepierre, Seth G.; Kletzing, Craig

    2014-02-01

    We simulate substorm injections observed by the Van Allen Probes during the 17 March 2013 storm using a self-consistent coupling between the ring current model RAM-SCB and the global MHD model BATS-R-US. This is a significant advancement compared to previous studies that used artificially imposed electromagnetic field pulses to mimic substorm dipolarization and associated inductive electric field. Several substorm dipolarizations and injections are reproduced in the MHD model, in agreement with the timing of shape changes in the AE/AL index. The associated inductive electric field transports plasma sheet plasma to geostationary altitudes, providing the boundary plasma source to the ring current model. It is found that impulsive plasma sheet injections, together with a large-scale convection electric field, are necessary to develop a strong ring current. Comparisons with Van Allen Probes observations show that our model reasonably well captures dispersed electron injections and the global Dst index.

  11. DMSP F7 observations of a substorm field-aligned current

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lopez, R. E.; Spence, H. E.; Meng, C.-I.

    1991-01-01

    Observations are described of a substorm field-aligned current (FAC) system traversed by the DMSP F7 spacecraft just after 0300 UT on April 25, 1985. It is shown that the substorm FAC portion of the current system was located equatorward of the boundary between open and closed field lines. The equatorward boundary of the substorm FAC into the magnetotail was mapped using the Tsyganenko (1987) model, showing that the boundary corresponds to 6.9 earth radii. The result is consistent with the suggestion of Akasofu (1972) and Lopez and Lui (1990) that the region of substorm initiation lies relatively close to the earth and the concept that an essential feature of substorms is the disruption and diversion of the near-earth current sheet.

  12. Characterizing supraglacial meltwater channel hydraulics on the Greenland Ice Sheet from in situ observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gleason, Colin J.; Smith, Laurence C.; Chu, Vena W.; Legleiter, Carl; Pitcher, Lincoln H.; Overstreet, Brandon T.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Forster, Richard R.; Yang, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Supraglacial rivers on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) transport large volumes of surface meltwater toward the ocean, yet have received relatively little direct research. This study presents field observations of channel width, depth, velocity, and water surface slope for nine supraglacial channels on the southwestern GrIS collected between 23 July and 20 August, 2012. Field sites are located up to 74 km inland and span 494-1485 m elevation, and contain measured discharges larger than any previous in situ study: from 0.006 to 23.12 m3/s in channels 0.20 to 20.62 m wide. All channels were deeply incised with near vertical banks, and hydraulic geometry results indicate that supraglacial channels primarily accommodate greater discharges by increasing velocity. Smaller streams had steeper water surface slopes (0.74-8.83%) than typical in terrestrial settings, yielding correspondingly high velocities (0.40-2.60 m/s) and Froude numbers (0.45-3.11) with supercritical flow observed in 54% of measurements. Derived Manning's n values were larger and more variable than anticipated from channels of uniform substrate, ranging from 0.009 to 0.154 with a mean value of 0.035 +/- 0.027 despite the absence of sediment, debris, or other roughness elements. Ubiquitous micro-depressions in shallow sections of the channel bed may explain some of these roughness values. However, we find that other, unobserved sources of flow resistance likely contributed to these elevated n values: future work should explicitly consider additional sources of flow resistance beyond bed roughness in supraglacial channels. We conclude that hydraulic modelling for these channels must allow for both sub- and supercritical flow, and most importantly must refrain from assuming that all ice-substrate channels exhibit similar hydraulic behavior, especially for Froude numbers and Manning's n. Finally, this study highlights that further theoretical and empirical work on supraglacial channel hydraulics is

  13. Modeled and Observed Transitions Between Rip Currents and Alongshore Flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moulton, M.; Elgar, S.; Warner, J. C.; Raubenheimer, B.

    2014-12-01

    Predictions of rip currents, alongshore currents, and the temporal transitions between these circulation patterns are important for swimmer safety and for estimating the transport of sediments, biota, and pollutants in the nearshore. Here, field observations are combined with hydrodynamic modeling to determine the dominant processes that lead rip currents to turn on and off with changing waves, bathymetry, and tidal elevation. Waves, currents, mean sea levels, and bathymetry were measured near and within five shore-perpendicular channels (on average 2-m deep, 30-m wide) that were dredged with the propellers of a landing craft at different times on a long straight Atlantic Ocean beach near Duck, NC in summer 2012. The circulation was measured for a range of incident wave conditions and channel sizes, and included rapid transitions between strong (0.5 to 1 m/s) rip current jets flowing offshore through the channels and alongshore currents flowing across the channels with no rip currents. Meandering alongshore currents (alongshore currents combined with an offshore jet at the downstream edge of the channel) also were observed. Circulation patterns near and within idealized rip channels simulated with COAWST (a three-dimensional phase-averaged model that couples ROMS and SWAN) are compared with the observations. In addition, the model is used to investigate the hydrodynamic response to a range of wave conditions (angle, height, period) and bathymetries (channel width, depth, and length; tidal elevations; shape of sandbar or terrace). Rip current speeds are largest for the deepest perturbations, and decrease as incident wave angles become more oblique. For obliquely incident waves, the rip currents are shifted in the direction of the alongshore flow, with an increasing shift for increasing alongshore current speed or increasing bathymetric perturbation depth.

  14. Video Observations of Meteors: History, Current Status, and Future Prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molau, S.; Nitschke, M.; de Lignie, M.; Hawkes, R. L.; Rendtel, J.

    1997-02-01

    Video meteor observations have been performed by amateur astronomers for more than 10 years. They enjoy a rapidly increasing interest in the meteor community and will evolve into a powerful tool for amateur observers in the near future. Video meteor observation is the key to a fundamental increase of our knowledge about meteoroid populations and their interaction with the Earth's atmosphere. In this paper, we want to summarize the history of video meteor observation and describe the current state of affairs. We discuss problems and limitations and propose future projects. The paper is intended to serve as basis for the foundation of appropriate organizational structures within the International Meteor Organization.

  15. Magneto-optic observation of anomalous Meissner current flow in superconducting thin films with slits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baziljevich, M.; Johansen, T. H.; Bratsberg, H.; Shen, Y.; Vase, P.

    1996-12-01

    Slits patterned into a YBa2Cu3O7-δ thin film were observed to obstruct Meissner sheet currents leading to an imbalance in the local Meissner screening properties. The new phenomenon was studied with magneto-optic imaging where twin lobes of opposite flux polarity were seen to form near the slits and inside the Meissner region. The lobe closest to the sample edge is always polarized opposite to the applied field. At weak fields, the anomalous flux generation is reversible. At higher fields, but still sufficiently small to keep the vortex penetration front away from the slits, the anomalous current starts nucleating flux lines which become trapped when the field is removed.

  16. THE TOPOLOGICAL CHANGES OF SOLAR CORONAL MAGNETIC FIELDS. III. RECONNECTED FIELD TOPOLOGY PRODUCED BY CURRENT-SHEET DISSIPATION

    SciTech Connect

    Janse, A. M.; Low, B. C.

    2010-10-20

    In this paper, the third in a series of papers on topological changes of magnetic fields, we study how the dissipation of an initial current sheet (CS) in a closed three-dimensional (3D) field affects the field topology. The initial field is everywhere potential except at the location of the CS which is in macroscopic equilibrium under the condition of perfect conductivity. In the physical world of extremely high, but finite, conductivity, the CS dissipates and the field seeks a new equilibrium state in the form of an everywhere potential field since the initial field is everywhere untwisted. Our semi-analytical study indicates that the dissipation of the single initial CS must induce formation of additional CSs in extensive parts of the magnetic volume. The subsequent dissipation of these other sheets brings about topological changes by magnetic reconnection in order for the global field to become potential. In 2D fields, the magnetic reconnection due to the dissipation of a CS is limited to the magnetic vicinity of the dissipating sheet. Thus, the consequence of CS dissipation is physically and topologically quite different in 2D and 3D fields. A discussion of this result is given in general relation to the Parker theory of spontaneous CSs and heating in the solar corona and solar flares.

  17. Rapid Ice-Sheet Changes and Mechanical Coupling to Solid-Earth/Sea-Level and Space Geodetic Observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, S.; Ivins, E. R.; Larour, E. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Perturbations in gravitational and rotational potentials caused by climate driven mass redistribution on the earth's surface, such as ice sheet melting and terrestrial water storage, affect the spatiotemporal variability in global and regional sea level. Here we present a numerically accurate, computationally efficient, high-resolution model for sea level. Unlike contemporary models that are based on spherical-harmonic formulation, the model can operate efficiently in a flexible embedded finite-element mesh system, thus capturing the physics operating at km-scale yet capable of simulating geophysical quantities that are inherently of global scale with minimal computational cost. One obvious application is to compute evolution of sea level fingerprints and associated geodetic and astronomical observables (e.g., geoid height, gravity anomaly, solid-earth deformation, polar motion, and geocentric motion) as a companion to a numerical 3-D thermo-mechanical ice sheet simulation, thus capturing global signatures of climate driven mass redistribution. We evaluate some important time-varying signatures of GRACE inferred ice sheet mass balance and continental hydrological budget; for example, we identify dominant sources of ongoing sea-level change at the selected tide gauge stations, and explain the relative contribution of different sources to the observed polar drift. We also report our progress on ice-sheet/solid-earth/sea-level model coupling efforts toward realistic simulation of Pine Island Glacier over the past several hundred years.

  18. Observational evidence for atmospheric modulation of the Loop Current migrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindo-Atichati, D.; Sangrà, P.

    2015-12-01

    Recent modeling studies on the shedding of Loop Current rings suggest that the intensification of the dominant zonal wind field delays the detachment of rings and affects the Loop Current migrations. The atmospheric modulation of the Loop Current migrations is analyzed here using reanalysis winds and altimetry-derived observations. A newly developed methodology is applied to locate the Loop Current front, and a wavelet-based semblance analysis is used to explore correlations with atmospheric forcing. The results show that weakening (intensification) of the zonal wind stress in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is related with the Loop Current excursions to the north (south). Semblance analyses confirm negative correlations between the zonal wind stress and the Loop Current migrations during the past 20 years. The intrusions of the Loop Current might involve an increase of the Yucatan Transport, which would balance the westward Rossby wave speed of a growing loop and delay the ring shedding. The results of this study have consequences for the interpretation of the chaotic processes of ring detachment and Loop Current intrusions, which might be modulated by wind stress.

  19. 3D electrostatic gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion simulation of lower-hybrid drift instability of Harris current sheet

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wang, Zhenyu; Lin, Yu; Wang, Xueyi; Tummel, Kurt; Chen, Liu

    2016-07-07

    The eigenmode stability properties of three-dimensional lower-hybrid-drift-instabilities (LHDI) in a Harris current sheet with a small but finite guide magnetic field have been systematically studied by employing the gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion (GeFi) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation model with a realistic ion-to-electron mass ratio mi/me. In contrast to the fully kinetic PIC simulation scheme, the fast electron cyclotron motion and plasma oscillations are systematically removed in the GeFi model, and hence one can employ the realistic mi/me. The GeFi simulations are benchmarked against and show excellent agreement with both the fully kinetic PIC simulation and the analytical eigenmode theory. Our studies indicate that, for small wavenumbers, ky, along the current direction, the most unstable eigenmodes are peaked at the location wheremore » $$\\vec{k}$$• $$\\vec{B}$$ =0, consistent with previous analytical and simulation studies. Here, $$\\vec{B}$$ is the equilibrium magnetic field and $$\\vec{k}$$ is the wavevector perpendicular to the nonuniformity direction. As ky increases, however, the most unstable eigenmodes are found to be peaked at $$\\vec{k}$$ •$$\\vec{B}$$ ≠0. Additionally, the simulation results indicate that varying mi/me, the current sheet width, and the guide magnetic field can affect the stability of LHDI. Simulations with the varying mass ratio confirm the lower hybrid frequency and wave number scalings.« less

  20. 3D electrostatic gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion simulation of lower-hybrid drift instability of Harris current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhenyu; Lin, Yu; Wang, Xueyi; Tummel, Kurt; Chen, Liu

    2016-07-01

    The eigenmode stability properties of three-dimensional lower-hybrid-drift-instabilities (LHDI) in a Harris current sheet with a small but finite guide magnetic field have been systematically studied by employing the gyrokinetic electron and fully kinetic ion (GeFi) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation model with a realistic ion-to-electron mass ratio mi/me . In contrast to the fully kinetic PIC simulation scheme, the fast electron cyclotron motion and plasma oscillations are systematically removed in the GeFi model, and hence one can employ the realistic mi/me . The GeFi simulations are benchmarked against and show excellent agreement with both the fully kinetic PIC simulation and the analytical eigenmode theory. Our studies indicate that, for small wavenumbers, ky, along the current direction, the most unstable eigenmodes are peaked at the location where k →.B → =0 , consistent with previous analytical and simulation studies. Here, B → is the equilibrium magnetic field and k → is the wavevector perpendicular to the nonuniformity direction. As ky increases, however, the most unstable eigenmodes are found to be peaked at k →.B → ≠0 . In addition, the simulation results indicate that varying mi/me , the current sheet width, and the guide magnetic field can affect the stability of LHDI. Simulations with the varying mass ratio confirm the lower hybrid frequency and wave number scalings.

  1. Self-Consistent Current Sheets and Filaments in Relativistic Collisionless Plasma with Arbitrary Energy Distribution of Particles

    SciTech Connect

    Kocharovsky, V. V.; Kocharovsky, Vl. V.; Martyanov, V. Ju.

    2010-05-28

    A new class of self-consistent planar current sheets and cylindrical current filaments with a functional freedom for the resultant spatial profiles is found analytically for collisionless plasma. Invariants of particle motion are employed to obtain exact stationary solutions of Vlasov-Maxwell equations for arbitrary energy distribution of particles. This method automatically takes into account complicated particle motion in a self-consistent magnetic field, can be equally well applied to relativistic and nonrelativistic plasma, and yields a much wider class of solutions as compared to models of the Harris-Bennett type and their known generalizations. We discuss typical analytical solutions and general properties of magnetostatic neutral structures: spatial scales, magnitudes of current and magnetic field, degree of anisotropy of particle distributions, and possible equipartition of magnetic and particle energies.

  2. Telluric currents: A meeting of theory and observation

    SciTech Connect

    Boteler, D.H.; Seager, W.H.

    1998-09-01

    Pipe-to-soil (P/S) potential variations resulting from telluric currents have been observed on pipelines in many locations. However, it has never teen clear which parts of a pipeline will experience the worst effects. Two studies were conducted to answer this question. Distributed-source transmission line (DSTL) theory was applied to the problem of modeling geomagnetic induction in pipelines. This theory predicted that the largest P/S potential variations would occur at the ends of the pipeline. The theory also predicted that large P/S potential variations, of opposite sign, should occur on either side of an insulating flange. Independently, an observation program was conducted to determine the change in telluric current P/S potential variations and to design counteractive measures along a pipeline in northern Canada. Observations showed that the amplitude of P/S potential fluctuations had maxima at the northern and southern ends of the pipeline. A further set of recordings around an insulating flange showed large P/S potential variations, of opposite sign, on either side of the flange. Agreement between the observations and theoretical predictions was remarkable. While the observations confirmed the theory, the theory explains how P/S potential variations are produced by telluric currents and provides the basis for design of cathodic protection systems for pipelines that can counteract any adverse telluric effects.

  3. Experimental investigation of possible geomagnetic feedback from energetic (0.1 to 16 keV) terrestrial O(+) ions in the magnetotail current sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lennartsson, O. W.; Klumpar, D. M.; Shelley, E. G.; Quinn, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Data from energetic ion mass spectrometers on the International Sun Earth Explorer 1 (ISEE 1) and AMPTE/CCE spacecraft are combined with geomagnetic and solar indices to investigate, in a statistical fashion, whether energized O(+) ions of terrestrial origin constitute a source of feedback which triggers or amplifies geomagnetic magnetotail current sheet. The ISSE 1 data (0.1-16 keV/e) provide in situ observations of the O(+) solar cycle 21, as well as inner magnetosphere data from same period. The CCE data (0.1-17 keV/e), taken during the subsequent solar minimum, all within 9 R(sub E), provide a reference for long-term variations in the magnetosphere O(+) content. Statistical correlations between the ion data and the indices, and between different indices, all point in the same direction: there is probably no feedback specific to the O(+) ions, in spite of the fact that they often contribute most of the ion mass density in the tail current sheet.

  4. Three-dimensional Geometry of a Current Sheet in the High Solar Corona: Evidence for Reconnection in the Late Stage of the Coronal Mass Ejections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Ryun-Young; Vourlidas, Angelos; Webb, David

    2016-07-01

    Motivated by the standard flare model, ray-like structures in the wake of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have been often interpreted as proxies of the reconnecting current sheet connecting the CME with the postflare arcade. We present the three-dimensional properties of a post-CME ray derived from white light images taken from three different viewing perspectives on 2013 September 21. By using a forward modeling method, the direction, cross section, and electron density are determined within the heliocentric distance range of 5–9 R ⊙. The width and depth of the ray are 0.42 ± 0.08 R ⊙ and 1.24 ± 0.35 R ⊙, respectively, and the electron density is (2.0 ± 0.5) × 104 cm‑3, which seems to be constant with height. Successive blobs moving outward along the ray are observed around 13 hr after the parent CME onset. We model the three-dimensional geometry of the parent CME with the Gradual Cylindrical Shell model and find that the CME and ray are coaxial. We suggest that coaxial post-CME rays, seen in coronagraph images, with successive formation of blobs could be associated with current sheets undergoing magnetic reconnection in the late stage of CMEs.

  5. Field-aligned currents associated with substorms in the vicinity of synchronous orbit. 2. GOES 2 and GOES 3 observations

    SciTech Connect

    Nagai, T. )

    1987-03-01

    Substorm-associated field-aligned currents have been studied using magnetic field observations at synchronous orbit and on the ground. The GOES 2 and GOES 3 satellite pair, separated in local time by about 2 hours, clearly demonstrates local time dependence of field-aligned current signatures at synchronous orbit. The author has made comparisons between magnetic disturbances at synchronous orbit and ground mid-latitude magnetic disturbances. In the morning region and the evening region, D perturbations at two locations have the same sign, indicating that major field-aligned currents are those flowing into (out of) the ionosphere located on L shells greater than the spacecraft L shell in the morning (evening) region. However, the D perturbations at synchronous orbit are more transient than those on the ground in the same local time meridian. Near midnight an opposite sense for the sign of D between synchronous orbit and the ground is frequently observed. In such a case the D perturbation is always negative at synchronous orbit, while the ground D perturbation is positive. The author proposes that the downward current sheet extending from the morningside overlaps the upward current sheet extending from the eveningside in the center of the current system. In this model the double field-aligned current sheets are formed in association with the onset of a substorm expansion phase near the midnight meridian, and the meridian for the major field-aligned currents flowing into the ionosphere shifts progressively eastward in the morning region and the meridian for the major field-aligned currents flowing out of the ionosphere shifts progressively westward in the evening region as substorms progress.

  6. Comments on Current Space Systems Observing the Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisk, L. A.

    2016-07-01

    The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), which was established in 1992, has been effective in specifying the observations needed for climate studies, and advocating that these observations be made. As a result, there are essential climate variables being observed, particularly from space, and these have formed the basis for our ever-improving models of how the Earth system functions and the human impact on it. We cannot conclude, however, that the current observing system in space is adequate. Climate change is accelerating, and we need to ensure that our observations capture, with completeness and with proper resolution and cadence, the most important changes. Perhaps of most significance, we need to use observations from space to guide the mitigation and adaptation strategies on which at last our civilization seems prepared to embark. And we need to use our observations to educate particularly policy makers on the reality of climate change, so that none deny the need to act. COSPAR is determined to play its part in highlighting the need to strengthen the climate observing system and notably its research component. This is being accomplished through events like the present roundtable, through the work of its Scientific Commission A, its Task Group on GEO (where COSPAR is serving as a member of its Program Board), and by promoting among space agencies and policy-makers the recently released scientific roadmap on Integrated Earth System Science for the period 2016-2025.

  7. Quantum current of a molecular photo-switch between two graphene sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brivio, G. P.; Motta, C.; Trioni, M. I.; Sebastian, K. L.

    2011-03-01

    Light responsive materials that reversibly change shape under alternate UV and visible irradiation have attracted much interest because they can be used as optical switches, since the isomers show different features in the dimension, HOMO-LUMO gap and transmission spectrum. In view to integrate the photo-switch in the carbon based electronics devices, the conductance of a system constituted by a photochromic molecule between two graphene electrodes is investigated. In this work the conductance of the junction formed by diarylperfluorocyclopentene between two semi-infinite graphene sheets was computed using the non-equilibrium Green's function method combined with density functional theory via the TranSiesta code. The results emphasize the role of the graphene and the molecular electronic states in the switching behaviour of this hybrid system.

  8. DE 1 observations of theta aurora plasma source regions and Birkeland current charge carriers

    SciTech Connect

    Menietti, J.D.; Burch, J.L. )

    1987-07-01

    The authors have performed detailed analyses of the DE 1 high-altitude plasma instrument (HAPI) electron and ion data for four passes during which theta auroras were observed. The data indicate that the theta auroras occur on what appear to be closed field lines with particle signatures and plasma parameters that are quite similar to those of the magnetospheric boundary plasma sheet. The field-aligned currents computed from particle fluxes in the energy range 18 eV < E < 13 keV above the theta auroras are observed to be generally downward on the dawnside of the arcs with a narrower region of larger (higher density) upward currents on the duskside of the arcs. These currents are carried predominantly by field-aligned beams of accelerated cold electrons. Of particular interest in regions of upward field-aligned current are downward electron beams at energies less than the inferred potential drop above the spacecraft. These beams may be due to atmospheric secondaries or to ionospheric electrons that have convected into a region of field-aligned electric field.

  9. A statistical study of plasma sheet electrons carrying auroral upward field-aligned currents measured by Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.; Shiokawa, K.; McFadden, J. P.; Nishimura, Y.

    2011-12-01

    We have statistically investigated the electron density ne,M and temperature Te,M in the near-Earth plasma sheet in terms of the magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling process, as measured by the electrostatic analyzer (ESA) on board the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS-D) satellite from November 2007 to January 2010. To find out when and where an aurora can occur, either with or without electron acceleration, the thermal current j∥th and the conductivity K along the magnetic field line were also estimated from observations of the magnetospheric electrons with pitch angle information inside 12 RE. The thermal current, j∥th(∝ ne,M Te,M1/2), represents the upper limit of the field-aligned current that can be carried by magnetospheric electrons without a field-aligned potential difference. The conductivity, K(∝ ne,M Te,M-1/2), relates the upward field-aligned current, j∥, to the field-aligned potential difference, V∥, assuming adiabatic electron transport. The thermal current is estimated by two methods: (1) from the relation by using ne,M and Te,M and (2) from the total downward electron number flux. We find that in the dawnside inner magnetosphere, the thermal currents estimated by both methods are sufficient to carry typical region 2 upward field-aligned current. On the other hand, in the duskside outer magnetosphere, a field-aligned potential difference is necessary on the region 1 current since the estimated thermal current is smaller than the typical region 1 current. By using the relationship, j∥ = KV∥, where K is the conductivity estimated from Knight's relation and j∥ is the typical auroral current, we conclude that a field-aligned potential difference of V∥ = 2-5 kV is necessary on the duskside region 1 upward field-aligned current.

  10. Observation of the plasma boundary layer at lunar distances - Direct injection of plasma into the plasma sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sanders, G. D.; Maher, L. J.; Freeman, J. W.

    1980-01-01

    The paper presents observational evidence from the Apollo suprathermal ion detector experiments that the injection of magnetosheath particles at the low-latitude magnetopause operates at lunar distances as well. An interface between the magnetosheath and the plasma sheet, termed the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL), is identified and believed to be the extension of the magnetospheric boundary layer (also called the plasma boundary layer) observed on the dayside. Using measurements of the PSBL's thickness, magnetic field, and plasma velocity the average electric potential drop across the PSBL is estimated at 4.2 kV and compared with the potential drop which is needed to insure that the magnetopause is an equipotential for a closed magnetosphere. It was concluded though that the magnetosphere is open since this drop is much larger than 4.2 kV.

  11. Recent Observations of Increased Thinning of the Greenland Ice Sheet Measured by Aircraft GPS and Laser Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krabill, William B.

    2004-01-01

    The Arctic Ice Mapping group (Project AIM) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Wallops Flight Facility has been conducting systematic topographic surveys of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIs) since 1993, using scanning airborne laser altimeters combined with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology onboard NASA's P-3 aircraft. Flight lines have covered all major ice drainage basins, with repeating surveys after a 5-year interval during the decade of the 90's. Analysis of this data documented significant thinning in many areas near the ice sheet margins and an overall negative mass balance of the GIS (Science, 2000). In 2001, 2002, and 2003 many of these flight lines were re-surveyed, providing evidence of continued or accelerated thinning in all observed areas around the margin of the GIs. Additionally, however, a highly-anomalous snowfall was observed between 2002 and 2003 in SE Greenland - perhaps an indicator of a shift in the regional climate?

  12. Simulation of electrostatic turbulence in the plasma sheet boundary layer with electron currents and bean-shaped ion beams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishikawa, K.-I.; Frank, L. A.; Huang, C. Y.

    1988-01-01

    Plasma data from ISEE-1 show the presence of electron currents as well as energetic ion beams in the plasma sheet boundary layer. Broadband electrostatic noise and low-frequency electromagnetic bursts are detected in the plasma sheet boundary layer, especially in the presence of strong ion flows, currents, and steep spacial gradients in the fluxes of few-keV electrons and ions. Particle simulations have been performed to investigate electrostatic turbulence driven by a cold electron beam and/or ion beams with a bean-shaped velocity distribution. The simulation results show that the counterstreaming ion beams as well as the counterstreaming of the cold electron beam and the ion beam excite ion acoustic waves with a given Doppler-shifted real frequency. However, the effect of the bean-shaped ion velocity distributions reduces the growth rates of ion acoustic instability. The simulation results also show that the slowing down of the ion bean is larger at the larger perpendicular velocity. The wave spectra of the electric fields at some points of the simulations show turbulence generated by growing waves.

  13. Impact of Temperature-dependent Resistivity and Thermal Conduction on Plasmoid Instabilities in Current Sheets in the Solar Corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Lei; Roussev, Ilia I.; Lin, Jun; Ziegler, Udo

    2012-10-01

    In this paper, we investigate, by means of two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the impact of temperature-dependent resistivity and thermal conduction on the development of plasmoid instabilities in reconnecting current sheets in the solar corona. We find that the plasma temperature in the current-sheet region increases with time and it becomes greater than that in the inflow region. As secondary magnetic islands appear, the highest temperature is not always found at the reconnection X-points, but also inside the secondary islands. One of the effects of anisotropic thermal conduction is to decrease the temperature of the reconnecting X-points and transfer the heat into the O-points, the plasmoids, where it gets trapped. In the cases with temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, η ~ T -3/2, the decrease in plasma temperature at the X-points leads to (1) an increase in the magnetic diffusivity until the characteristic time for magnetic diffusion becomes comparable to that of thermal conduction, (2) an increase in the reconnection rate, and (3) more efficient conversion of magnetic energy into thermal energy and kinetic energy of bulk motions. These results provide further explanation of the rapid release of magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy seen during flares and coronal mass ejections. In this work, we demonstrate that the consideration of anisotropic thermal conduction and Spitzer-type, temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, as in the real solar corona, are crucially important for explaining the occurrence of fast reconnection during solar eruptions.

  14. Field-Aligned Current Dynamics and Its Correlation with Solar Wind Conditions and Geomagnetic Activities From Space Technology 5 Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yongli; Boardsen, Scott; Le, Guan; Slavin, James; Strangeway, Robert J.

    Field-aligned currents (FACs) are the currents flowing into and out of the ionosphere which connect to the magnetosphere. They provide an essential linkage between the solar wind - magnetosphere system and the ionosphere, and the understanding of these currents is important for global magnetosphere dynamics and space weather prediction. The three spacecraft ST-5 constellation provides an unprecedented opportunity to study in situ FAC dynamics in time scales (10 sec to 10 min) that can not be achieved previously with single spacecraft studies or large-spaced conjugate spacecraft studies. In this study, we use the magnetic field observations during the whole ST-5 mission to study the dependence of FAC current sheet motion and intensity on solar wind conditions. FAC peak current densities show very good correlations with some solar wind parameters, including IMF Bz, dynamic pressure, Ey, and some IMF angles, but not with other parameters. Instant FAC speeds show generally much weaker dependence on solar wind conditions comparing to FAC peak current densities. This obvious uncorrelation between FAC peak current densities and speeds implies that FAC peak current densities are more consistently controlled by solar wind conditions and geomagnetic activities, while FAC speeds are more oscillatory, sometimes with higher speeds during quieter times and lower speeds during more turbulent times. Detailed examination of FAC current sheet speed during two major storms in the ST-5 mission will also be given to illustrate the temporal evolution of the FAC dynamics with geomagnetic storm.

  15. Energetic ion and electron observations of the geomagnetic plasma sheet boundary layer - Three-dimensional results from ISEE 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spjeldvik, W. N.; Fritz, T. A.

    1981-01-01

    A description of energetic ion and electron behavior in the geomagnetic plasma sheet boundary layer is presented based on observations made by the medium-energy particle experiment on board ISEE 1. Three-dimensional observations of ions of energies 24-2081 keV and electrons of energies 22.5-1200 keV were obtained by the NOAA/WAPS instrument near the center of the magnetotail at a distance of approximately 15 earth radii. Large-scale motions of plasma sheet energetic particles are observed as an apparent result of a series of magnetospheric disturbances (substorms), which are characterized by substantial contractions and expansions. Ion flow velocity in a distinct boundary layer in energetic ions has been found to be in the earthward direction in each of the five ISEE 1 boundary crossings. Boundary layer motion during one of these crossings is interpreted as large-amplitude boundary waves with periodicities of a few minutes superimposed on the general plasma sheet behavior associated with the substorm process.

  16. Fish effects on ocean current observations in the Cariaco Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virmani, Jyotika I.; Weisberg, Robert H.

    2009-03-01

    Multiple years of moored current meter observations from the Cariaco Basin show low-frequency variations along with near-inertial waves and further imply the persistent diurnal movement of fish species known to populate the basin. In agreement with short-term observations from 1979, the more recent observations with acoustic Doppler current profilers provide evidence of the multidecadal presence and behavior of these species. An unwanted corollary, however, is a bias in both the vertical and horizontal components of velocity due to the fish movements. Removal of this fish bias results in large data loss (approximately 72%); however, an interpolated, non-biased data set is developed with depth-averaged horizontal velocities comparable to the observations, demonstrating successful elimination of the bias. Further comparisons show that the interpolated data result in minimal variance density loss at low frequencies and a reduction of variance density at high frequencies such that the interpolated data in the internal wave range more closely fit the Garrett-Munk spectrum. The net result is a data set appropriate for further analysis. A mean downward velocity of 0.18 cm s-1 is a reflection of a biogenic particle flux and some residual fish contamination. The mean settling speed of particles in the Cariaco Basin is calculated, via Stokes law, to be smaller than 0.04 cm s-1. Velocity observations from acoustic current meters at depths greater than 400 m are impacted by the water clarity; therefore alternate methods should be used to make velocity measurements at depth.

  17. Simultaneous prenoon and postnoon observations of three field-aligned current systems from Viking and DMSP-F7

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ohtani, S.; Potemra, T. A.; Newell, P. T.; Zanetti, L. J.; Iijima, T.; Watanabe, M.; Yamauchi, M.; Elphinstone, R. D.; De La Beauijardie, O.; Blomberg, L. G.

    1995-01-01

    The spatial structure of dayside large-scale field-aligned current (FAC) systems is examined by using Viking and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-F7 (DMSP-F7) data. We focus on four events in which the satellites simultaneously observed postnoon and prenoon three FAC systems: the region 2, the region 1, and the mantle (referred to as midday region O) systems, from equatorward to poleward. These events provide the most solid evidence to date that the midday region O system is a separate and unique FAC system, and is not an extension of the region 1 system from other local times. The events are examined comprehensively by making use of a mulit-instrumental data set, which includes magnetic field, particle flux, electric field, auroral UV image data from the satellites, and the Sondrestrom convection data. The results are summarized as follows: (1) Region 2 currents flow mostly in the central plasma sheet (CPS) precipitation region, often overlapping with the boundary plasma sheet (BPD) at their poleward edge. (2) The region 1 system is located in the core part of the auroral oval and is confined in a relatively narrow range in latitude which includes the convection reversal. The low-latitude boundary layer, possibly including the outer part of the plasma sheet, and the external cusp are the major source regions of dayside region 1 currents. (2) Midday region O currents flow on open field lines and are collocated with the shear of antisunward convection flows with velocites decreasing poleward. On the basis of these results we support the view that both prenoon and postnoon current systems consist of the three-sheet structure when the disctortion ofthe convection pattern associated with interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) B(sub Y) is small and both morningside and eveningside convection cells are crescent-shaped. We also propose that the midday region O and a part of the region 1 systems are closely coupled to the same source.

  18. Electrostatic drift waves in a 2D magnetic current sheet - a new kinetic theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruit, G.; Louarn, P.; Tur, A.

    2015-12-01

    In the general context of understanding the possible destabilization of the magnetotail before a substorm, a kinetic model for electromagnetic instabilities in resonant interaction with trapped bouncing electrons has been proposed for several years. Fruit et al. 2013 already used it to investigate the possibilities for electrostatic instabilities. Tur et al. 2014 generalizes the model for full electromagnetic perturbations.It turns out that some corrections should be added to the electrostatic version of Fruit et al. 2013. We propose to revist the theory in this present paper.Starting with a modified 2D Harris sheet as equilibrium state, the linearized gyrokinetic Vlasov equation is solved for electrostatic fluctuations with period of the order of the electron bounce period (a few seconds). The particle motion is restricted to its first Fourier component along the magnetic field and this allows the complete time integration of the non local perturbed distribution functions. The dispersion relation for electrostatic modes is finally obtained through the quasineutrality condition.The new feature of the present model is the inclusion of diamagnetic drift effects due to the density gradient in the tail. It is well known in MHD theory that drift waves are driven unstable through collisions or other dissipative effects. Here electrostatic drift waves are revisited in this more complete kinetic model including bouncing electrons and finite Larmor radius effects. A new mode has been found with original propagation proprieties. It is moreover mildly unstable due to electron or ion damping (dissipative instability).

  19. Compressible turbulence with slow-mode waves observed in the bursty bulk flow of plasma sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Tieyan; Cao, Jinbin; Fu, Huishan; Meng, Xuejie; Dunlop, M.

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we report the evidence of compressible turbulence with slow-mode waves in a bursty bulk flow of plasma sheet. This compressible turbulence is characterized by a multiscale (1-60 s) anticorrelation between plasma density and magnetic field strength. Besides, the magnetic compressibility spectrum stays nearly constant at all the measured frequencies. Furthermore, the turbulence energy distributions are anisotropic with k⊥ > k//, and the dispersion relation is consistent with slow-mode prediction. The fluctuations of density and magnetic field have similar double slope spectrum and kurtosis. These results suggest that the slow waves are involved in the intermittent turbulence cascade from MHD to ion kinetic scales, which may have significant implications for the energy transfer in the plasma sheet.

  20. Experimental Observations On Turbidity Currents Flowing Over Low Bed Slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stagnaro, M.; Bolla Pittaluga, M.

    2012-12-01

    Turbidity currents are gravity-driven, sediment-laden turbulent flows moving on a sloping bottom, which take place in oceans and lakes. Due to the difficulties to predict and observe this kind of phenomena in nature, in the recent past many experimental apparatus were set up to increase the comprehension of the currents. We developed an experimental apparatus able to reproduce such kind of currents in our Marchi Environmental Laboratory. The experiments were performed in an horizontal flume U shaped in plan, 30 m long, characterized by two straight tracks approximately 12 m in length, and a bend with a constant radius of curvature equal to 2.5 m. The flume, made in plexiglass, has a rectangular cross section 0.6 m wide and 0.5 m deep. The particular shape of the channel let us study the spatial development of turbidity (or saline) currents in the straight reach and the adjustment of the flow in the channel bend. We have created a concrete fixed bed with an uniform bottom slope of 0.005 developing both along the first straight and the constant curvature bend and continuing 3 meters after the bend exit. The first set of experimental observations were performed employing an 'hybrid' turbidity current, in that the density excess was created by adding both salt and fine sediments (d50=4 micron) to clear water. Each run, characterized by the same initial and boundary conditions (fractional density excess, discharge of the mixture, inlet and outlet conditions) and by the same geometry, was repeated many times in order to measure vertical velocity and density profiles in different cross sections along the straight and bend reaches. Both longitudinal and lateral velocity measurements were performed, as well as density profiles. The velocity profiles were acquired using an ultrasound Doppler velocimeter profiler. In this way we recorded the longitudinal velocity in the channel axis with a spatial resolution of 1 m along the flume and, coupling the data of two probes aligned

  1. Observations of Longshore Currents at Cape Hatteras, NC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smallegan, S. M.; Haas, K. A.; Warner, J. C.; List, J. H.

    2010-12-01

    A nearshore experiment was performed during the month of February 2010 at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina as part of the USGS Coastal Change Processes project. Diamond Shoals, a shore-attached shoal that extends over 22km offshore of the Cape Hatteras Point, is of specific interest due to the sheltering effect it has on the north and south sides of the cape. Because the existence of Diamond Shoals clearly affects nearshore wave dynamics and the maintenance processes of the shoal are not clearly understood, this experiment focused on understanding the effect of nearshore processes, specifically the wave field and the longshore currents, and the relationship between the shape of the coastline and the shoal. Using a camera mounted to the top railing of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, images of approximately 100 alongshore meters of surfzone were recorded. This video was used to estimate the cross shore variability of the longshore currents with the Optical Current Meter (OCM) technique. OCM is a signal processing technique that estimates longshore currents by tracking foam floating on the water surface caused by breaking waves as it is advected down the coastline. Instruments were also deployed during this experiment, measuring waves and currents at various locations around the Cape, including a station outside the surfzone in the field of view of the video camera. From the twenty-two day experiment, two events, February 7 and February 12 and 13, had the strongest longshore currents, therefore, a higher potential for sediment transport. Feb 7th experienced winds from the North at 6 m/s with gusts up to 12 m/s and offshore significant wave heights exceeding 3m. The event on the 12th and the 13th had nearly 9 m/s winds and 15 m/s gusts from the NNE and NNW with maximum offshore wave heights around 3m. The video observations are used to estimate the primarily wave-driven flow generated inside the surfzone while the instrument measures currents outside the surfzone which are

  2. Standing Alfven wave current system at Io - Voyager 1 observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acuna, M. H.; Neubauer, F. M.; Ness, N. F.

    1981-09-01

    The enigmatic control of the occurrence frequency of Jupiter's decametric emissions by the satellite Io has been explained theoretically on the basis of its strong electrodynamic interaction with the corotating Jovian magnetosphere leading to field-aligned currents connecting Io with the Jovian ionosphere. Direct measurements of the perturbation magnetic fields due to this current system were obtained by the Goddard Space Flight Center magnetic field experiment on Voyager 1 on March 5, 1979, when it passed within 20,500 km south of Io. An interpretation in the framework of Alfven waves radiated by Io leads to current estimates of 2.8 x 10 to the 6th A. A mass density of 7400-13,600 proton mass units/cu cm is derived, which compares very favorably with independent observations of the torus composition characterized by 7-9 proton mass units per electron for a local electron density of 1050-1500/cu cm. The power dissipated in the current system may be important for heating the Io heavy ion torus, inner magnetosphere, Jovian ionosphere, and possibly the ionosphere or even the interior of Io.

  3. Energetic particle beams in the plasma sheet boundary layer following substorm expansion - Simultaneous near-earth and distant tail observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scholer, M.; Baker, D. N.; Gloeckler, G.; Ipavich, F. M.; Galvin, A. B.; Klecker, B.; Terasawa, T.; Tsurutani, B. T.

    1986-01-01

    Simultaneous observations of ions and electron beams in the near-earth and deep magnetotail following the onset of substorm are analyzed in terms of the substorm neutral line model. The observations were collected on March 20, 1983 with ISSE 1 and 3. Energy fluxes and intensity-time profiles of protons and electrons are studied. The data reveal that the reconnection at the near-earth neutral line produces ions and electrons for the plasma sheet boundary layer. The maximum electric potential along the neutral line is evaluated.

  4. Observations of correlated broadband electrostatic noise and electron-cyclotron emissions in the plasma sheet. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Roeder, J.L.; Angelopoulos, V.; Baumjohann, W.; Anderson, R.R.

    1991-11-15

    Electric field wave observations in the central plasma sheet of the earth's magnetosphere show the correlated occurrence of broadband electrostatic noise and electrostatic electron cyclotron harmonic emissions. A model is proposed in which the broadband emissions are electron acoustic waves generated by an observed low energy electron beam, and the cyclotron emissions are generated by the hot electron loss cone instability. The high degree of correlation between the two emissions is provided in the model by the presence of the cold electron beam population, which allows both of the plasma instabilities to grow.

  5. Solar Wind Trends in the Current Solar Cycle (STEREO Observations)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvin, Antoinette; Simunac, Kristin; Farrugia, Charles

    2016-04-01

    We examine solar wind ion characteristics for the current solar cycle, utilizing near-Earth (OMNI) and STEREO data. Sources of the solar wind are known to be linked to the phase of the solar cycle and include coronal holes, coronal mass ejections, and multiple cycle-dependent sources for the so-called "slow" solar wind. This past solar minimum was characterized by weak transients and sustained periods of slow solar wind, and included cases of "slow" and "slower" solar wind stream interactions. In contrast, intervals around solar maximum have included extremely fast interplanetary coronal mass ejections, with one such ICME observed in situ by STEREO A exceeding 2000 km/s at 1 AU. We will look at specific case studies of solar wind observed in situ by STEREO, particularly for solar wind proton and iron ions.

  6. Cluster observations of the plasma sheet at very high latitudes: The in situ signature of a transpolar arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fear, R. C.; Milan, S. E.; Maggiolo, R.

    2013-12-01

    Transpolar arcs are auroral features which extend into the polar cap, which is the dim region poleward of the main auroral oval. Several case and statistical studies have shown that they are formed by the closure of lobe magnetic flux by magnetotail reconnection, and that the transpolar arc forms at the footprints of the newly-closed field lines which are embedded within the open flux of the polar cap. Therefore, when transpolar arcs occur, the magnetotail should contain closed magnetic field lines even at high latitudes (but in a localised sector), embedded within the open lobe flux. We present in situ observations of this phenomenon, taken by the Cluster spacecraft on 15th September 2005. Cluster was located at high latitudes in the southern hemisphere lobe (far from the typical location of the plasma sheet), and a transpolar arc was observed by the FUV cameras on the IMAGE satellite. An initial analysis reveals that Cluster periodically observed plasma similar to a typical plasma sheet distribution, but at much higher latitudes - indicative of closed flux embedded within the high latitude lobe. Each time that this plasma distribution was observed, the footprint of the spacecraft mapped to the transpolar arc (significantly poleward of the main auroral oval). These observations are consistent with closed flux being trapped in the magnetotail and embedded within the lobe, and provide further evidence for transpolar arcs being formed by magnetotail reconnection.

  7. Lightning as a space-weather hazard: UK thunderstorm activity modulated by the passage of the heliospheric current sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, M. J.; Scott, C. J.; Bennett, A. J.; Thomas, S. R.; Lockwood, M.; Harrison, R. G.; Lam, M. M.

    2015-11-01

    Lightning flash rates, RL, are modulated by corotating interaction regions (CIRs) and the polarity of the heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) in near-Earth space. As the HMF polarity reverses at the heliospheric current sheet (HCS), typically within a CIR, these phenomena are likely related. In this study, RL is found to be significantly enhanced at the HCS and at 27 days prior/after. The strength of the enhancement depends on the polarity of the HMF reversal at the HCS. Near-Earth solar and galactic energetic particle fluxes are also ordered by HMF polarity, though the variations qualitatively differ from RL, with the main increase occurring prior to the HCS crossing. Thus, the CIR effect on lightning is either the result of compression/amplification of the HMF (and its subsequent interaction with the terrestrial system) or that energetic particle preconditioning of the Earth system prior to the HMF polarity change is central to solar wind lightning coupling mechanism.

  8. DOES THE COMPRESSION OR THE EXPANSION OF A SIMPLE TOPOLOGY POTENTIAL MAGNETIC FIELD LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CURRENT SHEETS?

    SciTech Connect

    Aly, J. J.; Amari, T.

    2010-02-01

    Janse and Low have most recently addressed the following question. Consider a cylindrical domain containing a simple topology potential magnetic field threading its lower and upper horizontal faces, and a perfectly conducting plasma. Suppose that this domain is made to slowly contract or expand in the vertical direction, so driving the field into a quasi-static evolution through a series of force-free configurations. Then are these configurations smooth, or do they contain current sheets (CSs)? We reexamine here their three-step argument leading to the conclusion that CSs form most generally. We prove analytically that the field has to evolve through 'topologically untwisted' and 'nonpotential' configurations, thus confirming the first two steps. However, we find the third step-leading to the conclusion that a smooth untwisted force-free field is necessarily potential-to be very disputable.

  9. Overturned folds in ice sheets: Insights from a kinematic model of traveling sticky patches and comparisons with observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolovick, Michael J.; Creyts, Timothy T.

    2016-05-01

    Overturned folds are observed in regions of the Greenland ice sheet where driving stress is highly variable. Three mechanisms have been proposed to explain these folds: freezing subglacial water, traveling basal slippery patches, and englacial rheological contrasts. Here we explore how traveling basal sticky patches can produce overturned folds. Transitions from low to high stress cause a tradeoff in ice flow between basal slip and internal deformation that deflects ice stratigraphy vertically. If these transitions move, the slip-deformation tradeoff can produce large folds. Those folds record the integrated effects of time-varying basal slip. To understand how dynamic changes in basal slip influence ice sheet stratigraphy, we develop a kinematic model of ice flow in a moving reference frame that follows a single traveling sticky patch. The ice flow field forms a vortex when viewed in the moving reference frame, and this vortex traps ice above the traveling patch and produces overturned folds. Sticky patches that travel downstream faster produce larger overturned folds. We use the model as an interpretive tool to infer properties of basal slip from three example folds. Our model suggests that the sticky patches underneath these folds propagated downstream at rates between one half and the full ice velocity. The regional flow regime for the smaller two folds requires substantial internal deformation whereas the regime for the largest fold requires substantially more basal slip. The distribution and character of stratigraphic folds reflect the evolution and propagation of individual sticky patches and their effects on ice sheet flow.

  10. IMPACT OF TEMPERATURE-DEPENDENT RESISTIVITY AND THERMAL CONDUCTION ON PLASMOID INSTABILITIES IN CURRENT SHEETS IN THE SOLAR CORONA

    SciTech Connect

    Ni Lei; Roussev, Ilia I.; Lin Jun; Ziegler, Udo E-mail: iroussev@ifa.hawaii.edu

    2012-10-10

    In this paper, we investigate, by means of two-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations, the impact of temperature-dependent resistivity and thermal conduction on the development of plasmoid instabilities in reconnecting current sheets in the solar corona. We find that the plasma temperature in the current-sheet region increases with time and it becomes greater than that in the inflow region. As secondary magnetic islands appear, the highest temperature is not always found at the reconnection X-points, but also inside the secondary islands. One of the effects of anisotropic thermal conduction is to decrease the temperature of the reconnecting X-points and transfer the heat into the O-points, the plasmoids, where it gets trapped. In the cases with temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, {eta} {approx} T {sup -3/2}, the decrease in plasma temperature at the X-points leads to (1) an increase in the magnetic diffusivity until the characteristic time for magnetic diffusion becomes comparable to that of thermal conduction, (2) an increase in the reconnection rate, and (3) more efficient conversion of magnetic energy into thermal energy and kinetic energy of bulk motions. These results provide further explanation of the rapid release of magnetic energy into heat and kinetic energy seen during flares and coronal mass ejections. In this work, we demonstrate that the consideration of anisotropic thermal conduction and Spitzer-type, temperature-dependent magnetic diffusivity, as in the real solar corona, are crucially important for explaining the occurrence of fast reconnection during solar eruptions.