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Electron dynamics in a subproton-gyroscale magnetic hole

Abstract : Magnetic holes are ubiquitous in space plasmas, occurring in the solar wind, downstream of planetary bow shocks, and inside the magnetosphere. Recently, kinetic-scale magnetic holes have been observed near Earth's central plasma sheet. The Fast Plasma Investigation on NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission enables measurement of both ions and electrons with 2 orders of magnitude increased temporal resolution over previous magnetospheric instruments. Here we present data from MMS taken in Earth's nightside plasma sheet and use high-resolution particle and magnetometer data to characterize the structure of a subproton-scale magnetic hole. Electrons with gyroradii above the thermal gyroradius but below the current layer thickness carry a current sufficient to account for a ~10-20% depression in magnetic field magnitude. These observations suggest that the size and magnetic depth of kinetic-scale magnetic holes is strongly dependent on the background plasma conditions.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 12:10:04 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:29:59 AM

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Daniel J. Gershman, John C. Dorelli, Adolfo F. Viñas, Levon A. Avanov, Ulrik Gliese, et al.. Electron dynamics in a subproton-gyroscale magnetic hole. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016, 43, pp.4112-4118. ⟨10.1002/2016GL068545⟩. ⟨insu-03670244⟩

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