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The Earth's magnetosphere is 165 R(sub E) long: Self-consistent currents, convection, magnetospheric structure, and processes for northward interplanetary magnetic fieldThe subject of this paper is a self-consistent, magnetohydrodynamic numerical realization for the Earth's magnetosphere which is in a quasi-steady dynamic equilibrium for a due northward interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). Although a few hours of steady northward IMF are required for this asymptotic state to be set up, it should still be of considerable theoretical interest because it constitutes a 'ground state' for the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction. Moreover, particular features of this ground state magnetosphere should be observable even under less extreme solar wind conditions. Certain characteristics of this magnetosphere, namely, NBZ Birkeland currents, four-cell ionospheric convection, a relatively weak cross-polar potential, and a prominent flow boundary layer, are widely expected. Other characteristics, such as no open tail lobes, no Earth-connected magnetic flux beyond 155 R(sub E) downstream, magnetic merging in a closed topology at the cusps, and a 'tadpole' shaped magnetospheric boundary, might not be expected. In this paper, we will present the evidence for this unusual but interesting magnetospheric equilibrium. We will also discuss our present understanding of this singular state.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Fedder, J. A.
(Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC United States)
Lyon, J. G.
(Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 100
Issue: A3
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
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