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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-144
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2019-144
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: regular paper 07 Nov 2019

Submitted as: regular paper | 07 Nov 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Annales Geophysicae (ANGEO).

Roles of electrons and ions in formation of the current in mirror mode structures in the terrestrial plasma sheet: MMS observations

Guoqiang Wang1,2, Tielong Zhang1,3, Mingyu Wu1, Daniel Schmid1, Yufei Hao4, and Martin Volwerk3 Guoqiang Wang et al.
  • 1Institute of Space Science and Applied Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Lunar and Deep Space Exploration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz, Austria
  • 4Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China

Abstract. Currents are believed to exist in mirror mode structures and to be self-consistent with the magnetic field depression. Here, we investigate a train of mirror mode structures in the terrestrial plasma sheet on 11 August 2017 measured by the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission data. We find that a bipolar current exists in the cross-section of two hole-like mirror mode structures, referred to as magnetic dips. The bipolar current in the magnetic dip with a size of ~ 3 ρi (the ion gyro radius) is mainly contributed by an electron bipolar velocity, which is mainly formed by the magnetic gradient-curvature drift. For another magnetic dip with a size of ~ 6.67 ρi, the bipolar current is mainly caused by an ion bipolar velocity, which can be explained by the ion diamagnetic drift. These observations suggest that the electrons and ions play different roles in the formation of currents in magnetic dips with different sizes.

Guoqiang Wang et al.
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Short summary
Currents are believed to exist in mirror mode structures and to be self-consistent with the magnetic field depression. Bipolar currents are found in two ion-scale magnetic dips. The bipolar current in a small-size magnetic dip is mainly contributed by electron velocities, which is mainly formed by the magnetic gradient-curvature drift. For another large-size magnetic dip, the bipolar current is mainly caused by an ion bipolar velocity, which can be explained by the ion diamagnetic drift.
Currents are believed to exist in mirror mode structures and to be self-consistent with the...
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