Browsing by Author "Pickett, J. S."
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- ItemA mechanism for electrostatic solitary structures in the Earth's magnetosheath(AGU, 2009-09-24) Lakhina, G. S.; Singh, S. V.; Kakad, A. P.; Goldstein, Melvyn; Viñas,A. F.; Pickett, J. S.Electrostatic solitary waves (ESWs) have been observed in the Earth's magnetosheath region by Cluster. A mechanism for the generation of these structures in terms of electron-acoustic solitons and double layers is discussed. The model simulates the magnetosheath plasma by a four-component plasma system consisting of core electrons, two counterstreaming electron beams, and one type of ions. The analysis is based on the fluid equations and the Poisson equation, and employs the Sagdeev pseudopotential techniques to investigate the solitary waves. The electric field amplitudes, the time durations, and the propagation speeds of the solitary structures predicted by the model are in good agreement with the observed electric fields, pulse widths, and speeds of the electrostatic bipolar pulses.
- ItemCluster observations of multiple dipolarization fronts(AGU, 2011-04-13) Hwang, Kyoung-Joo; Goldstein, Melvyn; Lee, E.; Pickett, J. S.We present Cluster observations of a series of dipolarization fronts (DF 1 to 6) at the central current sheet in Earth's magnetotail. The velocities of fast earthward flow following behind each DF 1–3 are comparable to the Alfvén velocity, indicating that the flow bursts might have been generated by bursty reconnection that occurred tailward of the spacecraft. Based on multispacecraft timing analysis, DF normals are found to propagate mainly earthward at 160–335 km/s with a thickness of 900–1500 km, which corresponds to the ion inertial length or gyroradius scale. Each DF is followed by significant fluctuations in the x and y components of the magnetic field whose peaks are found 1–2 min after the DF passage. These (Bₓ, Bᵧ) fluctuations propagate dawnward (mainly) and earthward. Strongly enhanced field-aligned beams are observed coincidently with (Bₓ, Bᵧ) fluctuations, while an enhancement of cross-tail currents is associated with the DFs. From the observed pressure imbalance and flux tube entropy changes between the two regions separated by the DF, we speculate that interchange instability destabilizes the DFs and causes the deformation of the midtail magnetic topology. This process generates significant field-aligned currents and might power the auroral brightening in the ionosphere. However, this event is associated with neither the main substorm auroral breakup nor the poleward expansion, which might indicate that the observed multiple DFs have been dissipated before they reach the inner plasma sheet boundary.
- ItemGeneration of whistler mode emissions in the inner magnetosphere: An event study(AGU, 2010-08-21) Schriver, D.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.; Coroniti, F. V.; LeBoeuf, J. N.; Decyk, V.; Travnicek, P.; Santolík, O.; Winningham, D.; Pickett, J. S.; Goldstein, Melvyn; Fazakerley, A. N.On July 24, 2003, when the Cluster 4 satellite crossed the magnetic equator at about 4.5 RE radial distance on the dusk side (∼15 MLT), whistler wave emissions were observed below the local electron gyrofrequency (fcₑ) in two bands, one band above one-half the gyrofrequency (0.5fcₑ) and the other band below 0.5fcₑ. A careful analysis of the wave emissions for this event has shown that Cluster 4 passed through the wave source region. Simultaneous electron particle data from the PEACE instrument in the generation region indicated the presence of a mid-energy electron population (∼100 s of eV) that had a highly anisotropic temperature distribution with the perpendicular temperature 10 times the parallel temperature. To understand this somewhat rare event in which the satellite passed directly through the wave generation region and in which a free energy source (i.e., temperature anisotropy) was readily identified, a linear theory and particle in cell simulation study has been carried out to elucidate the physics of the wave generation, wave-particle interactions, and energy redistribution. The theoretical results show that for this event the anisotropic electron distribution can linearly excite obliquely propagating whistler mode waves in the upper frequency band, i.e., above 0.5fcₑ. Simulation results show that in addition to the upper band emissions, nonlinear wave-wave coupling excites waves in the lower frequency band, i.e., below 0.5fce. The instability saturates primarily by a decrease in the temperature anisotropy of the mid-energy electrons, but also by heating of the cold electron population. The resulting wave-particle interactions lead to the formation of a high-energy plateau on the parallel component of the warm electron velocity distribution. The theoretical results for the saturation time scale indicate that the observed anisotropic electron distribution must be refreshed in less than 0.1 s allowing the anisotropy to be detected by the electron particle instrument, which takes several seconds to produce a distribution.
- ItemOn the generation of solitary waves observed by Cluster in the near-Earth magnetosheath(EGU, 2005-02-02) Pickett, J. S.; Chen, L.-J.; Kahler, S. W.; Santolík, O.; Goldstein, Melvyn; Lavraud, B.; Décréau, P. M. E.; Kessel, R.; Lucek, E.; Lakhina, G. S.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Gurnett, D. A.; Cornilleau-Wehrlin, N.; Fazakerley, A.; Rème, H.; Balogh, A.Through case studies involving Cluster waveform observations, solitary waves in the form of bipolar and tripolar pulses have recently been found to be quite abundant in the near-Earth dayside magnetosheath. We expand on the results of those previous studies by examining the distribution of solitary waves from the bow shock to the magnetopause using Cluster waveform data. Cluster's orbit allows for the measurement of solitary waves in the magnetosheath from about 10 RE to 19.5 RE. Our results clearly show that within the magnetosheath, solitary waves are likely to be observed at any distance from the bow shock and that this distance has no dependence on the time durations and amplitudes of the solitary waves. In addition we have found that these same two quantities show no dependence on either the ion velocity or the angle between the ion velocity and the local magnetic field direction. These results point to the conclusion that the solitary waves are probably created locally in the magnetosheath at multiple locations, and that the generation mechanism is most likely not solely related to ion dynamics, if at all. To gain insight into a possible local generation mechanism, we have examined the electron differential energy flux characteristics parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field, as well as the local electron plasma and cyclotron frequencies and the type of bow shock that Cluster is behind, for several time intervals where solitary waves were observed in the magnetosheath. We have found that solitary waves are most likely to be observed when there are counterstreaming (~parallel and anti-parallel to the magnetic field) electrons at or below about 100eV. However, there are times when these counterstreaming electrons are present when solitary waves are not. During these times the background magnetic field strength is usually very low (<10nT), implying that the amplitudes of the solitary waves, if present, would be near or below those of other waves and electrostatic fluctuations in this region making it impossible to isolate or clearly distinguish them from these other emissions in the waveform data. Based on these results, we have concluded that some of the near-Earth magnetosheath solitary waves, perhaps in the form of electron phase-space holes, may be generated locally by a two-stream instability involving electrons based on the counterstreaming electrons that are often observed when solitary waves are present. We have not ruled out the possibility that the solitary waves could be generated as a result of the lower-hybrid Buneman instability in the presence of an electron beam, through the electron acoustic mode or through processes involving turbulence, which is almost always present in the magnetosheath, but these will be examined in a more comprehensive study in the future.
- ItemSolitary waves observed in the auroral zone: the Cluster multi-spacecraft perspective(EGU, 2004-04-14) Pickett, J. S.; Kahler, S. W.; Chen, L.-J.; Huff, R. L.; Santolík, O.; Khotyaintsev, Y.; Décréau, P. M. E.; Winningham, D.; Frahm, R.; Goldstein, Melvyn; Lakhina, G. S.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Lavraud, B.; Gurnett, D. A.; André, M.; Fazakerley, A.; Balogh, A.; Rème, H.We report on recent measurements of solitary waves made by the Wideband Plasma Wave Receiver located on each of the four Cluster spacecraft at 4.5-6.5RE (well above the auroral acceleration region) as they cross field lines that map to the auroral zones. These solitary waves are observed in the Wideband data as isolated bipolar and tripolar waveforms. Examples of the two types of pulses are provided. The time durations of the majority of both types of solitary waves observed in this region range from about 0.3 up to 5ms. Their peak-to-peak amplitudes range from about 0.05 up to 20mV/m, with a few reaching up to almost 70mV/m. There is essentially no potential change across the bipolar pulses. There appears to be a small, measurable potential change, up to 0.5V, across the tripolar pulses, which is consistent with weak or hybrid double layers. A limited cross-spacecraft correlation study was carried out in order to identify the same solitary wave on more than one spacecraft. We found no convincing correlations of the bipolar solitary waves. In the two cases of possible correlation of the tripolar pulses, we found that the solitary waves are propagating at several hundred to a few thousand km/s and that they are possibly evolving (growing, decaying) as they propagate from one spacecraft to the next. Further, they have a perpendicular (to the magnetic field) width of 50km or greater and a parallel width of about 2-5km. We conclude, in general, however, that the Cluster spacecraft at separations along and perpendicular to the local magnetic field direction of tens of km and greater are too large to obtain positive correlations in this region. Looking at the macroscale of the auroral zone at 4.5-6.5RE, we find that the onsets of the broadband electrostatic noise associated with the solitary waves observed in the spectrograms of the WBD data are generally consistent with propagation of the solitary waves up the field lines (away from Earth), or with particles or waves propagating up the field line, which leads to local generation of the solitary waves all along the field lines. A discussion of the importance of these solitary waves in magnetospheric processes and their possible generation mechanisms, through electron beam instabilities and turbulence, is provided.