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Conference papers

Evolution of a staircase ion signature observed by Cluster in the polar cusp

Abstract : We use the Cluster string of pearl configuration in the mid-altitude polar cusp to investigate temporal variations of the polar cusp. On 7 Aug. 2004, Cluster 4 was moving poleward through the Northern cusp, followed by Cluster 1 about 3 min later, Cluster 2 about 9 min later and finally Cluster 3 about 18 min later. The ACE spacecraft detected a Southward IMF turning before the cusp crossings and Bz stayed negative throughout. Cluster 4 observed a staircase ion dispersion with 2 steps, a high energy one around 1 keV at low latitude and a low energy one at higher latitude. C1 around 3 min later did not observe the high energy step anymore but a dispersion with a low energy cut-off more or less continuous through the cusp. About 18 min later, C3 observed a new dispersion on the equatorward side of the cusp detached from the main cusp precipitation. The observations will be compared with the predictions from a three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation. This event will then be discussed in term of temporal evolution of newly reconnected field lines on the equatorward side of the cusp under IMF-Bz negative.
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Contributor : Béatrice Pibaret-Bourdon <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 9:30:21 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 3:15:13 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-00356235, version 1



P. Escoubet, Jean-Michel Bosqued, J. Berchem, M. G. Taylor, Frederic Pitout, et al.. Evolution of a staircase ion signature observed by Cluster in the polar cusp. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2005, 2005, San Francisco, United States. ⟨insu-00356235⟩



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