Classification of the tailward drifting magnetic structures in the distant tail

A. Nishida, T. Yamamoto, K. Tsuruda, H. Hayakawa, A. Matsuoka, S. Kokubun, M. Nakamura, H. Kawano

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The magnetic field observed at the neutral sheet crossings in the distant tail at |x| = 200‐210 Re can be classified into three types. At the sharp and isolated crossings (Type A), the Bz component is positive on average and the tailward extension of the LLBL seems to be the viable explanation, but the presence of large and IMF‐dependent By component suggests that the field lines are not closed but are connected to IMF at both ends. When the neutral sheet crossings occur multiple times, Type B or C is observed. Type B is characterized by the bipolar magnetic signature and represents a plasmoid or flux rope. Type C is characterized by magnetic oscillations with typical time scales of a few tens of seconds. These oscillations may represent the magnetic loops or spirals produced by the tearing. In all cases, the direction of the drift motion derived from the electric and magnetic field data is directed predominantly tailward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2947-2950
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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