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Magnetospheric surface flow with strong discontinuities

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The theory of strong discontinuities in plasma with anisotropic pressure is applied for interpretation of the recent plasma and magnetic experiments on the boundary and in the tail of the magnetosphere. The properties of the discontinuities are described. It is supposed that on the boundary and in the tail of the magnetosphere anisotropic discontinuities occur with a nonzero normal component of the magnetic field. The general consequence of this assumption is the existence of the magnetospheric surface flow expanding from the subsolar point. The consequence does not contradict the data obtained on IMP 5. For the investigation of the low latitude part of the flow, the use of electrostatic analysers is desirable with the entrance oriented along the magnetospheric surface. The well-known qualitative scheme of the hydrodynamical flow with strong discontinuities in the tail is generalized by means of the three anisotropic discontinuities: the contact one coinciding with the magnetic neutral sheet, and the two discontinuities with the nonzero normal flow of the mass simulating the boundary of the plasma sheet. The result of the scheme of the components of the bulk velocity in the plasma sheet agrees with the recent observations on the Vela 4B. The scheme connects the well-known phenomena of the blocking and the thinning of the plasma sheet in the initial phase of the substorm. According to the general principles of the reconnection the dynamical dissipation is decreased by the blocking of the flow in the plasma sheet. The decrease leads to a drift of the plasma sheet boundary in the neutral sheet direction. The reverse picture is probably a result of a relaxation of the blocking.

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Ivanov, K.G. Magnetospheric surface flow with strong discontinuities. Astrophys Space Sci 31, 287–294 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00644087

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  • Normal Component
  • Normal Flow
  • Plasma Sheet
  • Bulk Velocity
  • Hydrodynamical Flow