Milan et al (2018)

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Milan et al (2018)



Milan, S. E., J. A. Carter, H. Sangha, K. Laundal, N. Østgaard, P. Tenfjord, J. Reistad, K. Snekvik, J. C. Coxon, H. Korth, and B. J. Anderson (2018), Timescales of dayside and nightside field‐aligned current response to changes in solar wind‐magnetosphere coupling, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 123. doi:10.1029/2018JA025645


Principal component analysis is performed on Birkeland or field‐aligned current (FAC) measurements from the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment, to determine the response of dayside and nightside FACs to reversals in the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and the occurrence of substorms. Dayside FACs respond promptly to changes in IMF BY, but the nightside response is delayed by up to an hour and can take up to 4 hr to develop fully, especially during northward IMF. Nightside FAC asymmetries grow during substorm growth phase when the IMF has a significant BY component, and also promptly at substorm onset. Our findings suggest that magnetotail twisting and/or BY penetration into the magnetotail, due to subsolar reconnection with east‐west orientated IMF, are the main cause of these nightside FAC asymmetries and that asymmetries also arise due to magnetotail reconnection of these twisted field lines.

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