2020
DOI: 10.1029/2020ja028112 View full text |Buy / Rent full text
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Abstract: Similar to Earth, Mercury's magnetotail experiences frequent dipolarization of the magnetic field. These rapid (~2 s) increases in the northward component of the tail field (ΔB z~3 0 nT) at Mercury are associated with fast sunward flows (~200 km/s) that enhance local magnetic field convection. Differences between the two magnetospheres, namely Mercury's smaller spatiotemporal scales and lack of an ionosphere, influence the dynamics of dipolarizations in these magnetotails. At Earth, the braking of fast dipolar… Show more

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“…This feature indicates that the ring current observed is likely to be a steady structure rather than a sudden burst injected from the magnetotail. Yet, other energetic proton sources, like magnetotail dipolarization 15,31 and polar cusp 13 , can also compensate the loss of magnetopause shadowing at the dawn side and keep the ring current complete and symmetry.…”
Section: Discussionmentioning
“…Although both proton pressure and magnetic field pressure are stronger at dawn than at dusk, the strengths of these asymmetries are not equal; β exhibits a dawn-dusk asymmetry. Proton plasma β is greater at dusk than at dawn , causing the inner current sheet boundary to be shifted systematically closer to the terminator at dawn (Dewey et al, 2020) and indicating that the dawn-dusk asymmetry in magnetic pressure is stronger than the asymmetry in proton pressure.…”
Section: Magnetotail Current Sheet Structurementioning
“…However, the situation might vary in Mercury's magnetosphere. The slow rotation of Mercury and the relatively large volume of Mercury in the magnetosphere would cause a portion of plasma flows driven by the nightside reconnection to directly impact the planet's surface (see Dewey et al, 2020), which would constrain their ability in returning the magnetic flux to the dayside magnetosphere.…”
Section: Mercury's Magnetic Field and Magnetospherementioning
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