Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 1.490 IF 1.490
  • IF 5-year value: 1.445 IF 5-year
    1.445
  • CiteScore value: 2.9 CiteScore
    2.9
  • SNIP value: 0.789 SNIP 0.789
  • IPP value: 1.48 IPP 1.48
  • SJR value: 0.74 SJR 0.74
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 88 Scimago H
    index 88
  • h5-index value: 21 h5-index 21
Volume 24, issue 7
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1931–1948, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-1931-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1931–1948, 2006
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-24-1931-2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  09 Aug 2006

09 Aug 2006

Two distinct energetic electron populations of different origin in the Earth's magnetotail: a Cluster case study

I. I. Vogiatzis1,2, T. A. Fritz1, Q.-G. Zong1, and E. T. Sarris2 I. I. Vogiatzis et al.
  • 1Center for Space Physics, Department of Astronomy, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
  • 2Space Research Laboratory, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece

Abstract. Energetic electrons (E≥30 keV) travelling along and perpendicular to the magnetic field lines have been observed in the magnetotail at L~17:00 and 22:00 MLT during the recovery phase of a storm-time substorm on 7 October 2002. Three-dimensional electron distributions of the full unit sphere obtained from the IES/RAPID sensor system demonstrated a rather complicated and random behavior of the energetic electrons. Occasionally these electrons were appearing to travel parallel, perpendicular, or in both directions, relative to the magnetic field direction, forming in this way bi-directional, perpendicular-peaked, and mixed distributions. The electron enhancements occurred while the Cluster spacecraft were on closed field lines in the central plasma sheet approaching the neutral sheet from the northern tail lobe. Magnetic field and energetic particle measurements have been used from geosynchronous and Cluster satellites, in order to describe the general context of the event and then give a possible interpretation regarding the occurrence of the electron anisotropies observed by the IES/RAPID spectrometer on board Cluster. According to geosynchronous measurements an electron dispersionless ejection is very well correlated with a dipolar re-configuration of the magnetic field. The latter fact supports the idea that electrons and, in general, particle ejections at geosynchronous altitude are directly related to electric fields arising from field dipolarization caused by current disruption. Also, having as a main objective the understanding of the way 3-D electron distributions are formed, we have analyzed electron energy spectra along and perpendicular to the magnetic field direction, demonstrating the fact that the electron population consists of two distinct components acting independently and in a random manner relative to each other. This leads to the conclusion that these two electron populations along and perpendicular to the field are generated at different remote locations at different rates. The main conclusion of the present paper is that the perpendicular-peaked electron enhancements (electrons with pitch angle around 90 degrees, subjected mainly to curvature drift) observed by Cluster are produced in a remote location duskward of the satellite location, due to the longitudinal and tailward expansion of a current disruption region, and subsequently transported to the Cluster location by means of curvature drift. On the other hand, bi-directional electrons (electrons with pitch angle around 0 and 180 degrees, bouncing mainly along the field lines) are believed to be generated in the vicinity of the neutral sheet or around an X-type region, as suggested by a plethora of previous studies. Finally, in the Discussion section, we make an attempt to present in a more thorough way the substorm model developed by Vogiatzis et al. (2005), which is intimately related to the importance of X-line formation for the initiation of a substorm.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Citation