Geophysical Research Letters

Mode conversion between Alfvén and slow waves observed in the magnetotail by THEMIS



[1] We present the direct spacecraft observations of wave mode conversion in the magnetotail for the first time. On February 28, 2008, the satellites P4 and P3 of THEMIS observe wave signals with a period of about 100 s in the magnetotail at about 11 RE. At the same time, geomagnetic activity is very quiet and there are no wave signals observed by the ground-based stations. From P4 observations, Alfvén and slow mode waves are identified during two successive intervals, while the coexistence and slow wave regions are observed by P3. The mode conversion between the Alfvén and slow mode waves takes place while THEMIS are crossing the central current sheet. The sharp curvature of the background magnetic field should be the primary reason of this mode conversion.