In the framework of IACG Campaign #2, we study a case in which the GEOTAIL spacecraft was close to the mid-tail magnetopause when three substorms took place. GEOTAIL was mainly located within the dawnside plasmasheet, and its average speed normal to the nominal magnetopause was very small (∼0.2 R E /hr) because it was near its apogee. It exited to the LLBL∼magnetosheath during the expansion to recovery phases of each substorm, stayed there for a while, and then returned to the plasmasheet near the end of the recovery phase. This pattern suggests a shrinkage of the mid-tail magnetosphere after the expansion onset so that the tail radius becomes smaller than that in the quiet time. We interpret it as a result of strong tailward flows from the near-Earth neutral line which transports plasma in the mid-tail region to the distant tail and causes a rarefaction in the mid-tail region.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aerospace Engineering
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)