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Chinese Journal of Space Science ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 9-17.doi: 10.11728/cjss2019.01.09

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Near Earth Vortices Driving of Field Aligned Currents Based on Magnetosphere Multiscale and Swarm Observations

ZHANG C1,2, SHEN C3, YANG Y Y4, DUNLOP M W5,6, TI S1,2, RUSSELL C T7, LÜHR H8, BURCH J L9, LINDQVIST P A10, TORBERT R B11, FRⅡS-CHRISTENSEN E12   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Space Science Center, Beijing 100190;
    2 College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049;
    3 College of Science, Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518055;
    4 Institute of China Seismological Bureau, Crustal Stress, Beijing 100085;
    5 Space Science Institute, School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191;
    6 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot OX11 0QX;
    7 University of California, Los Angeles, California CA90024;
    8 German Research Center For Geosciences, German Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam D-14473;
    9 Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas TX78238;
    10 Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm S-10044;
    11 University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire NH03824;
    12 Danish National Space Center, Copenhagen DK-2100
  • Received:2017-11-30 Revised:2018-06-22 Online:2019-01-15 Published:2019-01-30
  • Supported by:

    Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41874190, 41231066)

Abstract:

A long-standing mystery in the study of Field-Aligned Currents (FACs) has been that:how the currents are generated and why they appear to be much stronger at high altitudes than in the ionosphere.Here we present two events of magnetotail FACs observed by the Magnetospheric Multiscale Spacecraft (MMS) on 1st July and 14th July 2016,to show how the Substorm Current Wedges (SCW) were formed.The results show that particles were transferred heading towards the Earth during the expansion phase of substorms. The azimuthal flow formed clockwise (counter-clockwise) vortex-like motion,and then generated downward (upward) FACs on the tailward/poleward side of the distorted field with opposite vorticity on their Earthward/equatorward side.We also analyzed the Region 1 FACs observed by the Earth Explorer Swarm spacecraft on 1st July 2016 and found that they were associated with FACs observed by MMS,although differing by a factor of 10.This difference suggests that either there was the closure of the currents at altitudes above 500 km or the currents were not strictly parallel to B and closed at longitudes away from where they were generated.

Key words: Substorm current wedge, Magnetosphere, Field-aligned currents, Flow vorticity, Multiple spacecraft measurements

CLC Number: