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Multispacecraft Analysis of Electron Holes
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden.;Uppsala Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, Uppsala, Sweden..
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden..
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden..
Swedish Inst Space Phys, Uppsala, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1654-841x
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2019 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 55-63Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Electron holes (EHs) are nonlinear electrostatic structures in plasmas. Most previous in situ studies of EHs have been limited to single- and two-spacecraft methods. We present statistics of EHs observed by Magnetospheric Multiscale on the magnetospheric side of the magnetopause during October 2016 when the spacecraft separation was around 6km. Each EH is observed by all four spacecraft, allowing EH properties to be determined with unprecedented accuracy. We find that the parallel length scale, l(vertical bar), scales with the Debye length. The EHs can be separated into three groups of speed and potential based on their coupling to ions. We present a method for calculating the perpendicular length scale, l. The method can be applied to a small subset of the observed EHs for which we find shapes ranging from almost spherical to more oblate. For the remaining EHs we use statistical arguments to find l/l(vertical bar)approximate to 5, implying dominance of oblate EHs. Plain Language Summary Electron holes are positively charged structures moving along the magnetic field and are frequently observed in space plasmas in relation to strong currents and electron beams. Electron holes interact with the plasma, leading to electron heating and scattering. In order to understand the effect of these electron holes, we need to accurately determine their properties, such as velocity, length scale, and potential. Most earlier studies have relied on single- or two-spacecraft methods to analyze electron holes. In this study we use the four satellites of the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission to analyze 236 electron holes with unprecedented accuracy. We find that the holes can be divided into three distinct groups with different properties. Additionally, we calculate the width of individual electron holes, finding that they are typically much wider than long, resembling pancakes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2019. Vol. 46, no 1, p. 55-63
Keywords [en]
Electron holes
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-244119DOI: 10.1029/2018GL080757ISI: 000456938600007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85059915386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-244119DiVA, id: diva2:1289748
Funder
Swedish National Space Board, 128/17Swedish Research Council, 2016-05507
Note

QC 20190219

Available from: 2019-02-19 Created: 2019-02-19 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Vaivads, AndrisLindqvist, Per-Arne

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