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  4. Abstract

    The magnetospheric substorm is a key mode of flux and energy transport throughout the magnetosphere associated with distinct and repeatable magnetotail dynamical processes and plasma injections. The substorm growth phase is characterized by current sheet thinning and magnetic field reconfiguration around the equatorial plane. The global characteristics of current sheet thinning are important for understanding of magnetotail state right before the onset of magnetic reconnection and of the key substorm expansion phase. In this paper, we investigate this thinning at different radial distances using plasma sheet (PS) energetic (>50 keV) electrons that reach from the equator to low altitudes during their fast (∼1 s) travel along magnetic field lines. We perform a multi‐case study and a statistical analysis of 34 events with near‐equatorial observations of the current sheet thinning by equatorial missions and concurrent, latitudinal crossings of the ionospheric projection of the magnetotail by the low‐altitude Electron Losses and Fields Investigation (ELFIN) CubeSats at approximately the same local time sector. Energetic electron fluxes thus collected by ELFIN provide near‐instantaneous (<5 min duration) radial snapshots of magnetotail fluxes. Main findings of this study confirm the previously proposed concepts with low‐altitude energetic electron measurements: (a) Energy distributions of low‐altitude fluxes are quantitatively close to the near‐equatorial distributions, which justifies the investigation of the magnetotail current sheet reconfiguration using low‐altitude measurements. (b) The magnetic field reconfiguration during the current sheet thinning (which lasts ≥ an hour) results in a rapid shrinking of the low‐altitude projection of the entire PS (from near‐Earth, ∼10RE, to the lunar orbit ∼60RE) to 1–2° of magnetic latitude in the ionosphere. (c) The current sheet dipolarization, common during the substorm onset, is associated with a very quick (∼10 min) change of the tail magnetic field configuration to its dipolar state, as implied by a poleward expansion of the PSPS at low altitudes.

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  5. Abstract

    We present the results of a search for core-collapse supernova neutrinos, using long-term KamLAND data from 2002 March 9 to 2020 April 25. We focus on the electron antineutrinos emitted from supernovae in the energy range of 1.8–111 MeV. Supernovae will make a neutrino event cluster with the duration of ∼10 s in the KamLAND data. We find no neutrino clusters and give the upper limit on the supernova rate to be 0.15 yr−1with a 90% confidence level. The detectable range, which corresponds to a >95% detection probability, is 40–59 kpc and 65–81 kpc for core-collapse supernovae and failed core-collapse supernovae, respectively. This paper proposes to convert the supernova rate obtained by the neutrino observation to the Galactic star formation rate. Assuming a modified Salpeter-type initial mass function, the upper limit on the Galactic star formation rate is <(17.5–22.7)Myr−1with a 90% confidence level.

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  6. Abstract

    This paper represents the second part of an investigation of the acceleration of energetic oxygen ions from encounters with a dipolarization front (DF), based on test particle tracing in the fields of an MHD simulation. In this paper, we focus on distributions in the plasma sheet boundary layer (PSBL). O+beams close to the plasma sheet boundary are found to be less pronounced and/or delayed against the H+beams. The reason is that these particles are accelerated by nonadiabatic motion in the duskward electric field such that O+ions gain the same amount of energy, but only 1/4 of the speed of protons. This causes a delay and larger equatorward displacement by theE × Bdrift. In contrast, the O+beams somewhat deeper inside the plasma sheet, where previously multiple proton beams were found, are accelerated at an earthward propagating DF just like H+, forming a field‐aligned beam at a similar speed as the lowest‐energy H+beam. We found that the source location depends on the adiabaticity of the orbit. For larger adiabaticity, the beam ions originate initially from the outer plasma sheet, but later from the opposite PSBL or lobe, but for low adiabaticity, sources are well inside the plasma sheet. The energy gained from a single encounter of a DF is comparable to the kinetic energy associated with the front speed. Assuming maximum speeds of 500–1,000 km/s, this yields a mass dependent acceleration of about 1–5 keV for protons and 20–80 keV for oxygen ions, independent of their charge state.

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  7. Abstract

    Using an MHD simulation of near tail reconnection associated with a flow burst and the collapse (dipolarization) of the inner tail in combination with test particle tracing we study the acceleration and flux increases of energetic oxygen ions (O+). The characteristic orbits, distributions, and acceleration mechanisms are governed by the dimensionless parameterσ = ωcitn, whereωciis the ion gyro frequency andtna characteristic Alfvén time of the MHD simulation. Forσ < 1, central plasma sheet (CPS) populations after the passage of the dipolarization front are found to resemble half‐shells in velocity space oriented toward dusk. They originate from within the CPS and are energized typically by a single encounter of the region of enhanced cross‐tail electric field associated with the flow burst. For largerσvalues (σ > 1) the O+distributions resemble more closely those of protons, consisting of two counter‐streaming field‐aligned beams and an, albeit more tenuous and irregular, ring population perpendicular to the magnetic field. The existence of the beams, however, depends on suitable earthward moving source populations in the plasma sheet boundary layer or the adjacent lobes. The acceleration to higher energies is found to indicate a charge dependence, consistent with a dominance of more highly charged ions at energies of a few hundred keV. As in earlier simulations, the simulated fluxes show large anisotropies and nongyrotropic effects, phase bunching, and spatially and temporally localized beams.

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