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
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16 Dec 2021
Regular paper  | Highlight paper | 16 Dec 2021

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

James H. Lane et al.

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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.