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Bow Shock Generator Current Systems: MMS Observations of Possible Current Closure
KTH, Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS), Rymd- och plasmafysik.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-5617-9765
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2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 123, nr 1, s. 242-258Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

We use data from the first two dayside seasons of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission to study current systems associated with quasi-perpendicular bow shocks of generator type. We have analyzed 154 MMS bow shock crossings near the equatorial plane. We compute the current density during the crossings and conclude that the component perpendicular to the shock normal (J) is consistent with a pileup of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) inside the magnetosheath. For predominantly southward IMF, we observe a component J(n) parallel (antiparallel) to the normal for GSM gamma > 0 (<0), and oppositely directed for northward IMF. This indicates current closure across the equatorial magnetosheath, and it is observed for IMF clock angles near 0 degrees and 180 degrees. To our knowledge, these are the first observational evidence for bow shock current closure across the magnetosheath. Since we observe no clear signatures of vertical bar J(perpendicular to)vertical bar decreasing toward large vertical bar Y vertical bar we suggest that the main region of current closure is further tailward, outside MMS probing region. For IMF clock angles near 90 degrees, we find indications of the current system being tilted toward the north-south direction, obtaining a significant J(z) component, and we suggest that the current closes off the equatorial plane at higher latitudes where the spacecraft are not probing. The observations are complicated for several reasons. For example, variations in the solar wind and the magnetospheric currents and loads affect the closure, and J(n) is distributed over large regions, making it difficult to resolve inside the magnetosheath proper.

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AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION , 2018. Vol. 123, nr 1, s. 242-258
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-224068DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024826ISI: 000425637600018Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85040246253OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-224068DiVA, id: diva2:1190499
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QC 20180314

Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-03-14 Laget: 2018-03-14 Sist oppdatert: 2018-03-14bibliografisk kontrollert

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