Articles | Volume 39, issue 6
Ann. Geophys., 39, 1037–1053, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-39-1037-2021
Ann. Geophys., 39, 1037–1053, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-39-1037-2021

Regular paper 16 Dec 2021

Regular paper | 16 Dec 2021

Dynamics of variable dusk–dawn flow associated with magnetotail current sheet flapping

James H. Lane et al.

Model code and software

SuperDARN Radar Software Toolkit (RST) 4.2 (v4.2) E. G. Thomas, P. V. Ponomarenko, D. D. Billett, E. C. Bland, A. G. Burrell, K. Kotyk, A. S. Reimer, M. T. Schmidt, S. G. Shepherd, K. T. Sterne, and M.-T. Walach https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1403226

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Short summary
The Sun's magnetic field is carried across space by the solar wind – a hot plasma stream of ions and electrons – forming the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). The IMF can introduce asymmetries in the Earth's magnetic field, giving plasma flowing within it a direction dependent on IMF orientation. Electric currents in near-Earth space can also influence these plasma flows. We investigate these two competing mechanisms and find that the currents can prevent the IMF from controlling the flow.