Hot plasma in the magnetotail lobes shows characteristics consistent with closed field lines trapped in the lobes

We examine the magnetotail using data from the Hot Ion Analyzer on Cluster 1 during 2001–2009. We develop and utilise an algorithm in order to identify times during which Cluster 1 is in the magnetotail lobe but observes plasma which is hotter than our expectations of the lobe. We analyze the prevailing Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) Bz conditions for our algorithm and a reference algorithm (with no particle energy criteria) and find that the periods we select are, on average, ~2 nT more towards northward IMF. Examining the temperature in the magnetotail for our periods shows that the morphology of the average temperature is consistent with the Milan et al. (2005) model of magnetotail structure during Northward IMF, in which closed field lines are prevented from convecting to the dayside, causing them and the plasma trapped on them to protrude into the magnetotail lobes. We also find evidence that ~0.5% of our identified periods may be driven by direct entry into the magnetosphere from the solar wind.


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Authors: Coxon, John C., Fear, Robert C., Reidy, Jade A. ORCIDORCID record for Jade A. Reidy, Fryer, Laura J., Plank, James

On this site: Jade Reidy, Jade Reidy
7 September, 2021
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics / 126
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