12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Compression of the Earth's magnetotail by inter...
View graph of relations

« Back

Compression of the Earth's magnetotail by interplanetary shocks directly drives transient magnetic flux closure

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • B. Hubert
  • M. Palmroth
  • T. V. Laitinen
  • P. Janhunen
  • S. E. Milan
  • A. Grocott
  • S. W. H. Cowley
  • T. Pulkkinen
  • J.-c. Gérard
Article numberL10105
Journal publication date31/05/2006
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Journal number10
Volume33
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We use a novel method to evaluate the global opening and closure of magnetic flux in the terrestrial system, and to analyse two interplanetary shock passages that occurred during magnetically quiet periods. We find that, even under these quiet conditions, where the amount of open flux was already low, the compression of the magnetotail by the shocks still created intense but short-lived bursts of flux closure reaching ∼130 kV, comparable to values obtained shortly after a substorm onset, although no expansion phase developed. The results, supported by a global MHD simulation of the space environment, point to a trigger mechanism of flux closure directly driven by the solar wind compression, independent of the usual substorm expansion phase process.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.