Simulation in the Front Region of the Earth¡¦s Magnetosphere

  • Author(s): Gung Yur, Ching-Chang Cheng, Chi-Kuang Chao, Jih-Kwin Chao, and Hafiz-Ur Rahman
  • DOI: 10.3319/TAO.2011.06.20.02(AA)
  • Keywords: Laboratory simulation, Magnetosphere, Magnetopause

 

Abstract

A laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the interaction between a plasma beam and a magnetic dipole, simulating the interaction between the solar wind and magnetized planets. The emphasis in this paper is on the laboratory simulation in the front region of the Earth¡¦s magnetosphere and their variation under different solar wind conditions. The boundary in the front region of the magnetosphere is observed in a space simulation laboratory and the magnetospheric structure is produced by a super-Alfvénic and collisionless plasma beam interacting with terrella field. The boundary of the magnetosphere is determined by the factors that include solar wind parameters, such as magnetic fields, ion current density and magnetospheric structure images. It is interesting to compare the results of laboratory simulations with the empirical model by Shue et al. (1997) and the theoretical model by Cheng (1998) as well for the prediction of magnetopause locations under any solar wind condition. The comparisons show that for the northward IMF, magnetopause locations in the laboratory simulation are consistent with the theoretical model. As the magnitude of northward IMF Bz becomes higher, the subsolar distance and the flank position in laboratory simulations are consistent with the empirical model as well. For a lower southward IMF Bz, magnetopause locations in laboratory simulations are consistent with both the empirical and theoretical models. As the magnitude of the southward IMF Bz becomes higher, the subsolar distance and the flank position in laboratory simulations seem closer to the theoretical model than the empirical model.

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