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Regular version of the site

Article

Thin current sheets of sub‐ion scales observed by MAVEN in the Martian magnetotail.

Geophysical Research Letters. 2019. Vol. 46. No. 12. P. 6214-6222.
Grigorenko E. E., Zelenyi L. M., DiBraccio G., Ermakov V. N., Shuvalov S. D., Malova H. V., V. Y. Popov, Halekas J. S., Mitchell D. L., Dubinin E.

Current sheets (CSs) play a crucial role in the storage and conversion of magnetic energy in
planetary magnetotails. Using high‐resolution magnetic field data from MAVEN spacecraft, we report
the existence of super thin current sheets (STCSs) in the Martian magnetotail. The typical half‐thickness of
the STCSs is ~5 km, and it is much less than the gyroradius of thermal protons (ρp). The STCSs are
embedded into a thicker sheet with L ≥ ρp forming a multiscale current configuration. The formation of
STCS does not depend on ion composition, but it is controlled by the small value of the normal component of
the magnetic field at the neutral plane (BN). A number of the observed multiscale CSs are located in the
parametric map close to the tearing‐unstable domain, and thus, the inner STCS can provide an additional
free energy to excite ion tearing mode in the Martian magnetotailThin Current Sheets