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Statistical Study of Solar Wind, Magnetosheath and Magnetotail Plasma and Field Properties: 12+ Years of THEMIS Observations and MHD Simulations
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  • Xuanye Ma,
  • Katariina Nykyri,
  • Andrew P. Dimmock,
  • Christina Chu
Xuanye Ma
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
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Katariina Nykyri
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Corresponding Author:nykyrik@erau.edu

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Andrew P. Dimmock
Swedish Institute of Space Physics
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Christina Chu
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
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The solar wind plasma is a major plasma source for the Earth’s magnetosphere,
which has a strong influence on the magnetotail plasma and field properties.
The relative importance of different plasma entry mechanisms and pathways is largely determined by the solar wind conditions. Therefore, the spatial and temporal dependence of magnetotail plasma and field properties under different kinds of solar wind conditions is critically important for understanding the Earth’s magnetosphere.
This study presents a statistical study of fundamental magnetotail plasma properties in a normalized reference frame by utilizing 12+ years of data from NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) -mission. These statistical maps are mostly in agreement with the MHD runs from the CCMC BATS-R-US model, but some features in the maps can be explained by kinetic particle physics, not present in the MHD. The results are also used to investigate the presence of any magnetotail plasma parameter asymmetries and their possible causes.
Oct 2020Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics volume 125 issue 10. 10.1029/2020JA028209