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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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A multispecies kinetic model of the thermal plasma in the plasmasphere is used to predict the spatial dependence of the hydrogen ion and helium ion density and temperature for different levels of geomagnetic and solar activity. The particular convection electric field model chosen is intended for the time intervals between substorms. The plasma density and temperature in the equatorial plane are found to exhibit a local-time variation that is sensitive to the details of the convection electric field. In particular, the parallel temperature increases with altitude and the perpendicular temperature decreases with altitude, except in the postmidnight sector, features that are only possible if kinetic effects are taken into account. In addition, the ratio of the helium ion density to the hydrogen ion density is found to agree with observations of the Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite. This behavior can be explained by the effects of convection on the thermal particles that are magnetically trapped on closed field lines. These results have implications for the interpretation and analysis of sunlight scattered by helium ions (He II) to be measured by future global imaging satellites.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research


American Geophysical Union