Thermalization of Colliding Ion Streams Beyond the Plasmapause.
Rept. for Oct 70-May 71,
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CALIF LAB OPERATIONS
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On field lines that are closed, oppositely directed plasma flows analogous to the polar wind can originate from conjugate regions of the ionosphere and encounter each other near the equatorial plane. For a background plasma of sufficiently low equatorial density N sub 0 or 20cc, thermalization of the two streams can occur through the excitation of unstable ion waves. At higher densities N sub O or 20cc thermalization occurs via Coulomb collision. These flows, together with the complementary thermalization mechanisms, constitute a rapid means of replenishing the plasmasphere dN sub Odt about 10cc-hr during the recovery phase of a magnetic storm. Beyond the quiet-day plasmapause location, the conditions for two-stream instability appear to be present continuously, since the counter-streaming plasmas are simultaneously convected to the magnetospheric boundary. Author
- Atmospheric Physics