Seasonal-Longitudinal Variability of Equatorial Plasma Bubbles
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB HANSCOM AFB MA SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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This study compared seasonal and longitudinal distributions of more than 8300 equatorial plasma bubbles EPBs observed during a full solar cycle from 1989 to 2000 with predictions of two simple models. Both models are based on considerations of parameters that influence the linear growth rate of the generalized Rayleigh-Taylor instability in the context of finite windows of opportunity available during the prereversal enhancement near sunset. These parameters are the strength of the equatorial magnetic field, Bsub eq, and the angle, alpha, it makes with the dusk terminator line. The independence of alpha and Bsub eq from the solar cycle phase justifies the comparisons.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics