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Title: Cluster and Double Star multipoint observations of a plasma bubble
Authors: Walsh, A. P.
Fazakerley, A. N.
Lahiff, A. D.
Volwerk, M.
Grocott, Adrian
Dunlop, M. W.
Lui, A. T. Y.
Kistler, L. M.
Lester, M.
Mouikis, C.
Pu, Z.
Shen, C.
Shi, J.K.
Taylor, M. G. G. T.
Lucek, E.
Zhang, T. L.
Dandouras, I.
First Published: 16-Feb-2009
Publisher: Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union
Citation: Annales Geophysicae, 2009, 27 (2), pp. 725-743.
Abstract: Depleted flux tubes, or plasma bubbles, are one possible explanation of bursty bulk flows, which are transient high speed flows thought to be responsible for a large proportion of flux transport in the magnetotail. Here we report observations of one such plasma bubble, made by the four Cluster spacecraft and Double Star TC-2 around 14:00 UT on 21 September 2005, during a period of southward, but BY-dominated IMF. In particular the first direct observations of return flows around the edges of a plasma bubble, and the first observations of plasma bubble features within 8 RE of the Earth, consistent with MHD simulations (Birn et al., 2004) are presented. The implications of the presence of a strong BY in the IMF and magnetotail on the propagation of the plasma bubble and development of the associated current systems in the magnetotail and ionosphere are discussed. It is suggested that a strong BY can rotate the field aligned current systems at the edges of the plasma bubble away from its duskward and dawnward flanks.
DOI Link: 10.5194/angeo-27-725-2009
ISSN: 0992-7689
Type: Article
Rights: This paper was published as Annales Geophysicae, 2009, 27 (2), pp. 725-743. It is also available from © Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy

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