The electron zebra stripes in the Earth's inner magnetosphere:
Evolution and Dynamics


Megha Pandya
Physics Department, The Catholic University of America
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Wed, October 18, 2023 - 4:00 PM

meghapandya_cua2-sm.jpgZebra stripes are distinct phenomena observed within Earth's inner magnetosphere, visible in spectrograms depicting energy versus L-value, particularly in the 10's to 100's of keV electron flux energy range. To understand the distribution and evolution of energetic electrons in this region, we conducted advection simulations, using time-dependent electric fields derived from Global Magnetohydrodynamic simulations.

The simulations revealed that certain electrons underwent a radial inward motion due to the influence of westward electric fields, and this motion exhibited a pronounced dependence on Magnetic Local Time (MLT). This inward transport, occurring within a narrow longitudinal range, resulted in periodic peaks and valleys in electron flux intensities. Importantly, the study found that the electrons responsible for peak formation were transported from the outer boundary, while those contributing to valley formation were not.

We identified the source of the westward electric field as ionospheric space charge, deposited by the Region 1 Field Aligned Currents. This talk highlights the role of significant coupling between the solar wind and Earth's inner magnetosphere, through the ionosphere.

Refreshments served at 3:45 PM

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