Energetic Ions and Electrons and Their Acceleration Processes in the Magnetotail

  1. Edward W. Hones Jr.
  1. Manfred Scholer

Published Online: 19 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM030p0216

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas

How to Cite

Scholer, M. (1984) Energetic Ions and Electrons and Their Acceleration Processes in the Magnetotail, in Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Laboratory Plasmas (ed E. W. Hones), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM030p0216

Author Information

  1. Max-Pianck-Institut FüR Physik Und Astrophysik, Institut FüR Extraterrestrische Physik, 8046 Garching, FRG

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900582

Online ISBN: 9781118664223

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Keywords:

  • Anisotropy;
  • Energetic ions and electrons;
  • Magnetosheath;
  • Magnetotail;
  • Plasma sheet

Summary

Many years of observations of energetic particle fluxes in the geomagnetic tail have shown that these particles exhibit a bursty appearance on all time scales. However, often the bursty appearance is merely due to multiple entries and exits of the spacecraft into and out of the plasma sheet which always contains varying fluxes of energetic particles. Therefore these bursts should not in each case be immediately associated with reconnection. Nevertheless the fact that charged particles are accelerated to high energies within the magnetosphere has to be explained and reconnection may ultimately be a promising candidate. In addition to these entries and exits into and out of the plasma sheet there occur short term bursts well within the plasma sheet which may be the direct signature of reconnection. At the boundary of the recovering plasma sheet earthward directed beams of energetic ions have been observed which may be due to more steady state reconnection in the distant tail. During plasma sheet dropout at substorm onset short lived (∼40 s) high energy particle bursts occur which are related to the newly created earthward neutral line. Recent results from the ISEE 3 deep tail mission have revealed the existence of fast tailward moving plasma structures which are preceded by energetic electron and ion beams. The observed velocity dispersions during the appearance of these beams allow a determination of the source location. Finally it is noted that the vast literature on energetic burst observations in the geomagnetic tail has to be contrasted with the existence of only a few theoretical papers which deal with particle acceleration to high energies during reconnection in a more quantitative way.