Articles | Volume 26, issue 7
23 Jul 2008
 | 23 Jul 2008

Evidence for particle acceleration in the magnetospheric cusp

J. Chen

Abstract. New evidence reveals that the charged particles can be energized locally in the magnetospheric cusp. The power spectral density of the cusp magnetic fluctuations shows increases by up to four orders of magnitude in comparison to an adjacent region. Large fluctuations of the cusp electric fields have been observed with an amplitude of up to 350 mV/m. The measured left-hand polarization of the cusp electric field at ion gyro-frequencies indicates that the cyclotron resonant acceleration mechanism is working in this region. The cyclotron resonant acceleration can energize ions from keV to MeV in seconds.