Articles | Volume 25, issue 6
29 Jun 2007
 | 29 Jun 2007

Temperature anisotropies of electrons and two-component protons in the dusk plasma sheet

M. N. Nishino, M. Fujimoto, T. Terasawa, G. Ueno, K. Maezawa, T. Mukai, and Y. Saito

Abstract. To investigate the cold plasma sheet formation under northward IMF, we study the temperature anisotropies of electrons and two-component protons observed by the Geotail spacecraft. The two-component protons, which are occasionally observed in the dusk plasma sheet near the low-latitude boundary, are the result of spatial mixing of the hot protons of the magnetosphere proper and the cold protons from the solar wind. Recent research focusing on the two-component protons reported that the cold proton component at times has a strong anisotropy, and that the sense of the anisotropy depends on the observed locations. Since electrons have been known to possess a strong parallel anisotropy around the low-latitude boundary layer, we compare anisotropies of electrons and protons to find that the strengths of parallel anisotropies of electrons and the cold proton component are in good correlation in the tail flank. The parallel anisotropy of electrons is stronger than that of the cold proton component, which is attributed to selective heating of electrons. We further find that the strengths of the parallel anisotropies in the tail flank depend on the latitudinal angle of the IMF; strong parallel anisotropies occur under strongly northward IMF. We discuss that the Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices, which developed under strongly northward IMF, and the resultant magnetic reconnection therein may lead to the strong parallel anisotropies observed in the tail flank.