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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 34, issue 10
Ann. Geophys., 34, 917–926, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-917-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 34, 917–926, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-34-917-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 25 Oct 2016

Regular paper | 25 Oct 2016

Proton and heavy ion acceleration by stochastic fluctuations in the Earth's magnetotail

Filomena Catapano1, Gaetano Zimbardo1, Silvia Perri1, Antonella Greco1, and Anton V. Artemyev2,3 Filomena Catapano et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Calabria, Rende (CS) 87036, Italy
  • 2Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Science and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Abstract. Spacecraft observations show that energetic ions are found in the Earth's magnetotail, with energies ranging from tens of keV to a few hundreds of keV. In this paper we carry out test particle simulations in which protons and other ion species are injected in the Vlasov magnetic field configurations obtained by Catapano et al. (2015). These configurations represent solutions of a generalized Harris model, which well describes the observed profiles in the magnetotail. In addition, three-dimensional time-dependent stochastic electromagnetic perturbations are included in the simulation box, so that the ion acceleration process is studied while varying the equilibrium magnetic field profile and the ion species. We find that proton energies of the order of 100 keV are reached with simulation parameters typical of the Earth's magnetotail. By changing the ion mass and charge, we can study the acceleration of heavy ions such as He+ +  and O+, and it is found that energies of the order of 100–200 keV are reached in a few seconds for He+ + , and about 100 keV for O+.

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Spacecraft observations show that energetic ions are found in the Earth’s magnetotail, with energies ranging from tens of keV to a few hundreds of keV. In this paper we carry out test particle simulations in which protons and other ion species are injected in the Vlasov magnetic field configurations obtained by Catapano et al. (2015). Three-dimensional time-dependent stochastic electromagnetic perturbations are included in the simulation box, so that the ion acceleration process is studied.
Spacecraft observations show that energetic ions are found in the Earth’s magnetotail, with...
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