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Electric fields in the magnetosphere-the evidence from ISEE, GEOS and Viking

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1 Author(s)
C. -G. Falthammar ; R. Inst. of Technol., Stockholm

Electric field measurements on the satellites GEOS-1, GEOS-2, ISEE-1, and Viking have extended the empirical knowledge of electric fields in space to include the outer regions of the magnetosphere. While the measurements confirm some of the theoretically expected properties of the electric fields, they also reveal unexpected features and a high degree of complexity and variability. The existence of a magnetospheric dawn-to-dusk electric field, as expected on the basis of extrapolation from low-altitude measurements, is confirmed in an average sense. However, the actual field exhibits large spatial and temporal variations, including strong fields of inductive origin. At the magnetopause, the average (dawn-to-dusk directed) tangential electric field component is typically obscured by irregular fluctuations of larger amplitude. In addition, data from electric-field measurements provide further support for the conclusion that a nonvanishing magnetic-field aligned electric field exists in the auroral acceleration region

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )