Observations of vortex-like structure in the cusp-magnetosheath region during northward IMF orientation
- 1Charles University, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Praha 8, Czech Republic
- 2Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Czech Academy of Science, Boční 1405, Praha 4, Czech Republic
Abstract. Two-point observations made by the Interball spacecraft pair unveiled a presence of a large vortex-like structure filled by slow and heated plasma in the outer cusp during periods of the positive BZ interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) component. We have observed the rotation of the magnetic field and the decrease of its magnitude connected with the presence of a hot plasma population inside the vortex. The structure starts with a clear reversal of the plasma flow caused by reconnection tailward of the cusp that turns a part of the magnetosheath plasma into the cusp. We compare the observations of two spacecraft in detail, discuss the differences between them and suggest the way of a formation such structure. Moreover, the statistical results have confirmed that this phenomenon is probably a regular feature of the high-altitude cusp, however, this relatively small structure cannot be observed too often. The alternative explanation of presented observations as a flapping of the magnetopause is taken into account and discussed.