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Near-Earth Magnetic Field Effects of Large-Scale Magnetospheric CurrentsMagnetospheric currents play an important role in the electrodynamics of near- Earth space. This has been the topic of many space science studies. Here we focus on the magnetic fields they cause close to Earth. Their contribution to the geomagnetic field is the second largest after the core field. Significant progress in interpreting the magnetic fields from the different sources has been achieved thanks to magnetic satellite missions like Ørsted, CHAMP and now Swarm. Of particular interest for this article is a proper representation of the magnetospheric ring current effect. Uncertainties in modelling its effect still produce the largest residuals between observations and present-day geomagnetic field models. A lot of progress has been achieved so far, but there are still open issues like the characteristics of the partial ring current. Other currents discussed are those flowing in the magnetospheric tail. Also their magnetic contribution at LEO orbits is non-negligible. Treating them as an independent source is a more recent development, which has cured some of the problems in geomagnetic field modelling. Unfortunately there is no index available for characterizing the tail current intensity. Here we propose an approach that may help to properly quantify the magnetic contribution from the tail current for geomagnetic field modelling. Some open questions that require further investigation are mentioned at the end.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Luehr, Hermann
(GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam, Germany)
Xiong, Chao
(GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences Potsdam, Germany)
Olsen, Nils
(Technical Univ. of Denmark Lyngby, Denmark)
Le, Guan
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
September 15, 2016
Publication Date
July 12, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Space Science Review
Publisher: SpringerLink
ISSN: 0038-6308
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Magnetospheric currents
Magnetospheric ring current
Geomagnetic field

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