Thin Current Sheets of Sub‐ion Scales observed by MAVEN in the Martian Magnetotail
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 magnetotail.
The Earth’s magnetosphere is an open dynamic system permanently interacting with the solar wind, i.e., the plasma flow from the Sun. Some plasma processes in the magnetosphere are of spontaneous explosive character, while others develop rather slowly as compared to the characteristic times of plasma particle motion in it. The large-scale current sheet in the magnetotail can be in an almost equilibrium state both in quiet periods and during geomagnetic perturbations, and its variations can be considered quasistatic. Thus, under some conditions, the magnetotail current sheet can be described as an equilibrium plasma system. Its state depends on various parameters, in particular, on those determining the dynamics of charged particles. Knowing the main governing parameters, one can study the structure and properties of the current sheet equilibrium. This work is devoted to the self-consistent modeling of the equilibrium thin current sheet (TCS) of the Earth’s magnetotail, the thickness of which is comparable with the ion gyroradius. The main objective of this work is to examine how the TCS structure depends on the parameters characterizing the particle dynamics and magnetic field geometry. A numerical hybrid self-consistent TCS model in which the tension of magnetic field lines is counterbalanced by the inertia of ions moving through the sheet is constructed. The ion dynamics is considered in the quasi-adiabatic approximation, while the electron motion, in the conductive fluid approximation. Depending on the values of the adiabaticity parameter κ (which determines the character of plasma particle motion) and the dimensionless normal component of the magnetic field , the following two scenarios are considered: (A) the adiabaticity parameter is proportional to the particle energy and = const and (B) the particle energy is fixed and the adiabaticity parameter is proportional to . The structure of the current sheet and particle dynamics in it are studied as functions of the parameters κ and . It is shown that, in scenario A, the current sheet thickness decreases with increasing adiabaticity parameter due to a decrease in the ion gyroradius. Accordingly, the radius of curvature of magnetic field lines decreases, which leads to an increase in the contribution of electron drift currents near the neutral plane z = 0. Numerical simulations demonstrate that current equilibria can exist if the adiabaticity parameter lies in the range . At κ ~ 0.7, the contribution of electron drift currents to the total current density is much larger than the contribution of ions and the ion motion becomes chaotic. At larger values of the adiabaticity parameter, no equilibrium solutions were found in the framework of the given one-dimensional model. Therefore, the value κ = 0.7 corresponds to the upper applicability limit of the quasi-adiabatic model of the current sheet. In scenario B, an increase in the parameter κ leads to the appearance of a large number of quasi-trapped ions in the current sheet, due to which the current sheet thickens and the amplitude of the current density decreases. As a result, equilibrium solutions exist in a much narrower range of the adiabaticity parameter, . Consequences of the existence of parametric boundaries of equilibrium solutions for the TCS under actual geomagnetic conditions are discussed.
We outline the history and development of the theory of thin current sheets in a collisionless space plasma from the early ideas of V L Ginzburg and S I Syrovatskii to the present day. We review the key achievements of the quasi- adiabatic theory, which provided insight into the fine structure of thin current sheets and enabled a comparison with experi- ment. This comparison showed the quasi-adiabatic approach to be more effective than the classical MHD approximation. With the development of the quasi-adiabatic theory in the last two decades, the existence of a number of new thin current sheet features, such as multi-scaling, metastability, and em- bedding, has been predicted and subsequently confirmed in situ; the role of individual particle populations in the forma- tion of the current sheet fine structure has also been investi- gated. The role of nonadiabatic effects in accelerating plasma beamlets interacting with current sheets is examined. Asym- metry mechanisms in thin current sheets in the presence of a magnetic shear component are described. A study is carried out of current sheet self-organization processes leading to the formation of a shear magnetic component consistent with currents flowing in the plasma. It is demonstrated that the ongoing development of the theory of thin current structures is a logical continuation of Syrovatskii's and Ginzburg's ideas on cosmic rays and reconnected current sheets in the solar corona.
The dynamics of a two-component Davydov-Scott (DS) soliton with a small mismatch of the initial location or velocity of the high-frequency (HF) component was investigated within the framework of the Zakharov-type system of two coupled equations for the HF and low-frequency (LF) fields. In this system, the HF field is described by the linear Schrödinger equation with the potential generated by the LF component varying in time and space. The LF component in this system is described by the Korteweg-de Vries equation with a term of quadratic influence of the HF field on the LF field. The frequency of the DS soliton`s component oscillation was found analytically using the balance equation. The perturbed DS soliton was shown to be stable. The analytical results were confirmed by numerical simulations.
Radiation conditions are described for various space regions, radiation-induced effects in spacecraft materials and equipment components are considered and information on theoretical, computational, and experimental methods for studying radiation effects are presented. The peculiarities of radiation effects on nanostructures and some problems related to modeling and radiation testing of such structures are considered.