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Observations of Penetration of the Plasma Sheet



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1 THEMIS observations of penetration of the plasma sheet into the ring current region 2 during a magnetic storm 3 4 5 Chih Ping Wang and Larry R Lyons 6 Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences University of California Los Angeles California USA 7 Vassilis Angelopoulos 8 Department of Earth and Space Sciences University of California Los Angeles California USA 9 Davin Larson J P McFadden and Sabine Frey 10 Space Sciences Laboratory University of California Berkeley USA 11 Hans Ulrich Auster 12 Institut f r Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik Technische Universit t Braunschweig Germany 13 Werner Magnes 14 Space Research Institute Austrian Academy of Sciences Graz Austria 15 16 1 1 Abstract Observations from the THEMIS spacecraft during a weak magnetic storm clearly 2 show that the inner edge of the ion plasma sheet near dusk moved from r 6 RE during the pre 3 storm quiet time to r 3 5 RE during the main phase and then moved outward during the 4 recovery phase The plasma sheet particles from the tail reached the inner magnetosphere during 5 the main phase through open drift paths which extended earthward with increasing convection 6 and were energized to ring current energies resulting in an increase in ring current population 7 During the recovery phase the plasma sheet region retreated to outside the inner magnetosphere 8 as the region of open drift paths moved outward with decreasing convection leaving the ring 9 current particles within the expended closed drift path region With no new particles from the 10 plasma sheet ring current population gradually decreased due to losses as the recovery phase 11 proceeded 12 1 Introduction 13 Plasma sheet particles which originally come from the solar wind and ionosphere and are 14 within the region of open electric and magnetic drift paths have been assumed to be the major 15 particle source for the ring current population 10 200 keV ions and electrons in particle 16 simulations for the ring current e g Chen et al



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