skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Gkioulidou, M."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract The Voyager 2 crossing of the termination shock indicated that most of the upstream energy from the thermal solar wind ions was transferred to pickup ions (PUIs) and other energetic particles downstream of the shock. We use hybrid simulations at the termination shock for the Voyager 2, flank, and tail directions to evaluate the distributions of different ion species downstream of the shock over the energy range of 0.52–55 keV. Here, we extend the work of Gkioulidou et al., which showed an energy-dependent discrepancy between modeled and energetic neutral atom (ENA) observations, and fit distributions to a hybrid model to show that a population of PUIs accelerated via diffusive shock acceleration (DSA) to become low-energy anomalous cosmic rays (ACRs) can bridge the gap between modeled and observed ENA fluxes. Our results with the inclusion of DSA via hybrid fitting give entirely new and novel evidence that DSA at the termination shock is likely to be an important physical process. These ACRs carry a significant fraction of the energy density at the termination shock (22%, 13%, and 19% in the Voyager 2, flank, and tail directions, respectively). Using these ACRs in global ENA modeling of the heliosphere from 0.52 to 55 keV, we find that scaling factors as large as 1.8–2.5 are no longer required to match ENA observations at energies of ∼1–4 keV. Large discrepancies between modeled and observed ENAs only remain over energies of 4–20 keV, indicating that there may be a further acceleration mechanism in the heliosheath at these energies. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    The shape of the heliosphere is currently under active debate. Energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) offer the best method for investigating the global structure of the heliosphere. To date, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) and the Ion and Neutral Camera (INCA) that was on board Cassini provide the only global ENA observations of the heliosphere. While extensive modeling has been done at IBEX-Hi energies (0.52–6 keV), no global ENA modeling has been conducted for INCA energies (5.2–55 keV). Here, we use an ENA model of the heliosphere based on hybrid results that capture the heating and acceleration of pickup ions (PUIs) at the termination shock to compare modeled global ENA results with IBEX-Hi and INCA observations using both a long- and short-tail model of the heliosphere. We find that the modeled ENA results for the two heliotail configurations produce similar results from the IBEX-Hi through the INCA energies. We conclude from our modeled ENAs, which only include PUI acceleration at the termination shock, that ENA observations in currently available energy ranges are insufficient for probing the shape and length of the heliotail. However, as a prediction for the future IMAP-Ultra mission (3–300 keV) we present modeled ENA maps at 80 keV, where the cooling length (∼600 au) is greater than the distance where the long- and short-heliotail models differ (∼400 au), and find that IMAP-Ultra should be able to identify the shape of the heliotail, predicting differences in the north lobe to downwind flux ratio between the models at 48%.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Deep penetration of energetic electrons (10s–100s of keV) to lowL‐shells (L < 4), as an important source of inner belt electrons, is commonly observed during geomagnetically active times. However, such deep penetration is not observed as frequently for similar energy protons, for which underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. To study their differential deep penetration, we conducted a statistical analysis using phase space densities (PSDs) ofµ = 10–50 MeV/G,K = 0.14 G1/2Re electrons and protons from multiyear Van Allen Probes observations. The results suggest systematic differences in electron and proton deep penetration: electron PSD enhancements at lowL‐shells occur more frequently, deeply, and faster than protons. Forµ = 10–50 MeV/G electrons, the occurrence rate of deep penetration events (defined as daily‐averaged PSD enhanced by at least a factor of 2 within a day atL < 4) is ∼2–3 events/month. For protons, only ∼1 event/month was observed forµ = 10 MeV/G, and much fewer events were identified forµ > 20 MeV/G. Leveraging dual‐Probe configurations, fast electron deep penetrations atL < 4 are revealed: ∼70% of electron deep penetration events occurred within ∼9 hr; ∼8%–13% occurred even within 3 hr, with lower‐µelectrons penetrating faster than higher‐µelectrons. These results suggest nondiffusive radial transport as the main mechanism of electron deep penetrations. In comparison, proton deep penetration happens at a slower pace. Statistics also show that the electron PSD radial gradient is much steeper than protons prior to deep penetration events, which can be responsible for these differential behaviors of electron and proton deep penetrations.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Energetic electron flux enhancements for 100s keV energies are often observed at lowLshells (L < 4) in the inner magnetosphere during geomagnetic storms. However, protons with similar energies do not penetrate as deeply as electrons. Electric fields from subauroral polarization streams (SAPS) have been proposed as a mechanism to explain the difference between the 100s keV electron and proton behavior by altering the particles’ drift paths and allowing electrons to access lowerLshells than protons. Although the primary signature of SAPS is a strong radial electric field, there are corresponding westward/eastward azimuthal electric fields on the eastern/western regions of the SAPS that cause inward/outward radial transport and a differential response between the oppositely drifting electrons and protons. We examine three events where SAPS were observed by the Van Allen Probes near the same time andLshell range as 100s keV electron enhancements deep within the inner magnetosphere. The observations demonstrate that 100s keV electrons were progressively transported radially inward and trapped at lowLshells that were consistent with the spatial extent of the SAPS electric fields. Proton flux enhancements were limited to <100 keV energies and were only observed temporarily in the SAPS region, indicating that these particles were on open drift paths. The particle observations are consistent with the differential drift paths for electrons and protons predicted by a simple SAPS electric field model, suggesting that SAPS play an important role in 100s keV particle dynamics at lowLshells in the inner magnetosphere.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Dispersionless injections, involving sudden, simultaneous flux enhancements of energetic particles over some broad range of energy, are a characteristic signature of the particles that are experiencing a significant acceleration and/or rapid inward transport at the leading edge of injections. We have statistically analyzed data from Van Allen Probes (also known as Radiation Belt Storm Probes [RBSP]) to reveal where the proton (H+) and electron (e) dispersionless injections occur preferentially inside geosynchronous orbit and how they develop depending on local magnetic field changes. By surveying measurements of RBSP during four tail seasons in 2012–2019, we have identified 171 dispersionless injection events. Most of the events, which are accompanied by local magnetic dipolarizations, occur in the dusk‐to‐midnight sector, regardless of particle species. Out of the selected 171 events, 75 events exhibit dispersionless injections of both H+and e, which occur within 2 min of each other. With only three exceptions, the both‐species injection events are further divided into two main subgroups: One is the H+preceding eevents with a time offset of tens of seconds between H+and e, and the other the concurrent H+and eevents without any time offset. Our superposed epoch results raise the intriguing possibility that the presence or absence of a pronounced negative dip in the local magnetic field ahead of the concurrent sharp dipolarization determines which of the two subgroups will occur. The difference between the two subgroups may be explained in terms of the dawn‐dusk asymmetry of localized diamagnetic perturbations ahead of a deeply penetrating dipolarization front.

    more » « less
  6. Abstract

    Thek‐nearest‐neighbor technique is used to mine a multimission magnetometer database for a subset of data points from time intervals that are similar to the storm state of the magnetosphere for a particular moment in time. These subsets of data are then used to fit an empirical magnetic field model. Performing this for each snapshot in time reconstructs the dynamic evolution of the magnetic and electric current density distributions during storms. However, because weaker storms occur more frequently than stronger storms, the reconstructions are biased toward them. We demonstrate that distance weighting the nearest‐neighbors mitigates this issue while allowing a sufficient amount of data to be included in the fitting procedure to limit overfitting. Using this technique, we reconstruct the distribution of the magnetic field and electric currents and their evolution for two storms, the intense 17–19 March 2015 “Saint Patrick's Day” storm and a moderate storm occurring on 13–15 July 2013, from which the pressure distributions can be computed assuming isotropy and by integrating the steady‐state force‐balance equation. As the main phase of a storm progresses in time, the westward ring current density and pressure increases in the inner magnetosphere particularly on the nightside, becoming more symmetric as the recovery phase progresses. We validate the empirical pressure by comparing it to the observed pressures from the Van Allen Probes mission by summing over particle fluxes from all available energy channels and species.

    more » « less
  7. Abstract

    Substorms are a highly variable process, which can occur as an isolated event or as part of a sequence of multiple substorms (compound substorms). In this study we identify how the low‐energy population of the ring current and subsequent energization varies for isolated substorms compared to the first substorm of a compound event. Using observations of H+and O+ions (1 eV to 50 keV) from the Helium Oxygen Proton Electron instrument onboard Van Allen Probe A, we determine the energy content of the ring current in L‐MLT space. We observe that the ring current energy content is significantly enhanced during compound substorms as compared to isolated substorms by ∼20–30%. Furthermore, we observe a significantly larger magnitude of energization (by ∼40–50%) following the onset of compound substorms relative to isolated substorms. Analysis suggests that the differences predominantly arise due to a sustained enhancement in dayside driving associated with compound substorms compared to isolated substorms. The strong solar wind driving prior to onset results in important differences in the time history of the magnetosphere, generating significantly different ring current conditions and responses to substorms. The observations reveal information about the substorm injected population and the transport of the plasma in the inner magnetosphere.

    more » « less