Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Abstract (EDOC: 14676)
Here we give two examples of low-latitude plasma blobs accompanied by linearly polarized perpendicular magnetic deflections which imply that associated field-aligned currents (FACs) have a 2-D sheet structure located at the blob walls. The estimated FAC density is of the order of 0.1 μA/m2. The direction of magnetic deflections points westward of the magnetic meridian and there is a linear correlation between perpendicular and parallel variations. All these properties are similar to those of equatorial plasma bubbles (EPBs). According to CHAMP observations from August 2000 to July 2004, blobs show except for these two good examples no clear signatures of 2-D FAC sheets at the walls. Generally, perpendicular magnetic deflections inside blobs are weaker than inside EPBs on average. Our results are consistent with existing theories: if a blob exists, (1) a significant part of EPB FAC will be closed through it, exhibiting similar perpendicular magnetic deflection inside EPBs and blobs, (2) the FAC closure through blobs leads to smaller perpendicular magnetic deflection at its poleward/downward side, and (3) superposition of different FAC elements might result in a complex magnetic signature around blobs.
(2010): Field-aligned current associated with low-latitude plasma blobs as observed by the CHAMP satellite. Annales Geophysicae, 28, 3, 697-703.