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Solar wind magnetosphere interaction as simulated by a 3-D EM particle code:A 3-D reconnection at the magnetopause

Pergamon Press
Publication Date
  • Astronomy
  • Physics


We have studied the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction with a 3-D electromagnetic particle code. The results for an unmagnetized solar wind plasma streaming past a dipole magnetic field show the formation of a magnetopause and a magnetotail, the penetration of energetic particles into cusps and radiation belt and dawn-dusk asymmetries. The effects of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) have been investigated in a similar way as done by MHD simulations. The simulation results with a southward IMF show the shrunk magnetosphere with great particle entry into the cusps and nightside magnetosphere. This is a signature of a magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. On the other hand, in the case where a solar wind with a northward IMF is switched on, the significant changes take place in the magnetotail. The waving motion was seen in the magnetotail and its length was shortened, This phenomena are consistent with the reconnections which occur at the high latitude magnetopause. In our simulations kinetic effects will determine the self-consistent anomalous resistivity in the magnetopause that causes reconnections.

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