Evidence of the Alfvén Transition Layer and Particle Precipitation in the Cusp Region: 3D Global PIC Simulation of the Solar Wind-Earth Magnetosphere Interaction - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Year : 2022

Evidence of the Alfvén Transition Layer and Particle Precipitation in the Cusp Region: 3D Global PIC Simulation of the Solar Wind-Earth Magnetosphere Interaction

Abstract

A transition layer, named the Alfvénic transition layer (or ATL), has been clearly evidenced near the outer boundary of the cusp by experimental observations from the Cluster mission. This layer characterized by a local value of Log M A ~ 1, where M A is the Alfvén Mach number, allows the bulk flow to transit from super-Alfvénic to sub-Alfvénic from the exterior to the interior side of the outer cusp. The ATL has been observed during northward interplanetary magnetic field orientation, and mainly within the meridian plane. Currently, 3D Particle In Cell (PIC) global simulations of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction are being performed in order to analyze the cusp region and this layer in detail. Present results stress the following points: (i) the ATL has a 3D structure; (ii) within the meridian plane, the ATL appears as a sublayer within a much more extended slow-mode pattern, and it is almost adjacent and located above the upper edge of the stagnant exterior cusp (SEC); and (iii) the plasma deceleration through the ATL is not uniform in the region located above the cusp. In addition, present preliminary results stress that (a) the spiraled streamlines of ion/electron fluxes converge when approaching the cusp, and their intensity strongly increases; and (b) ion and electron energetic fluxes penetrating the cusp region strongly differ in terms of their penetration depths and are issued from different regions of the magnetosphere/magnetosheath. Our results illustrate the importance of 3D effects used with a PIC simulation approach allowing the analysis of each population simultaneously.
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insu-03825050 , version 1 (21-10-2022)

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Bertrand Lembège, D. S. Cai, Sri Ekawati. Evidence of the Alfvén Transition Layer and Particle Precipitation in the Cusp Region: 3D Global PIC Simulation of the Solar Wind-Earth Magnetosphere Interaction. The Astrophysical Journal, 2022, 937 (October 1), 127 (15pp). ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/ac7e52⟩. ⟨insu-03825050⟩
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