The trajectories of plasma-sheet protons are computed numerically in magnetic-field models which simulate the neutral-sheet-type configuration observed in experiments. No electric field is included, in contrast with the reconnection theory. Entering the neutral sheet and then exiting from it, the particle performs an ordered displacement across the tail. A continuous interchange between the neutral and plasma sheets will give rise to an electric current which may be responsible for the observed magnetic-field configuration. An estimate of this current is made from the tension balance requirement, showing that a substantial anisotropy of the plasma-sheet pressure is necessary to maintain the steady state. It is shown that the neutral sheet itself can be a source of such an anisotropy, due to the non-adiabatic behaviour of protons. Other anisotropy origins are discussed briefly.
Предметные области Scopus
- Космические науки и планетоведение
- Астрономия и астрофизика