Astronomy Research Works

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    Hybrid Simulations of the Cusp and Dayside Magnetosheath Dynamics Under Quasi-Radial Interplanetary Magnetic Fields
    (Wiley, 2022-10-17) Ng, J.; Chen, L.-J.; Omelchenko, Y.; Zou, Y.; Lavraud, B.
    Under quasi-radial interplanetary magnetic fields (IMF), foreshock turbulence can have an impact on the magnetosheath and cusps depending on the location of the quasi-parallel shock. We perform three-dimensional simulations of Earth's dayside magnetosphere using the hybrid code HYPERS, and compare northward and southward quasi-radial IMF configurations. We study the magnetic field configuration, fluctuations in the magnetosheath and the plasma in the regions around the northern cusp. Under northward IMF with Earthward Bx, there is a time-varying plasma depletion layer immediately outside the northern cusp. In the southward IMF case, the impact of foreshock turbulence and high-speed jets, together with magnetopause reconnection, can lead to strong density enhancements in the cusp.
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    Whistler Waves Associated With Electron Beams in Magnetopause Reconnection Diffusion Regions
    (Wiley, 2022-09-12) Wang, Shan; Bessho, Naoki; Graham, Daniel B.; Le Contel, Olivier; Wilder, Frederick D.; Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.; Genestreti, Kevin J.; Lavraud, Benoit; Choi, Seung; Burch, James L.
    Whistler waves are often observed in magnetopause reconnection associated with electron beams. We analyze seven MMS crossings surrounding the electron diffusion region (EDR) to study the role of electron beams in whistler excitation. Waves have two major types: (a) Narrow-band waves with high ellipticities and (b) broad-band waves that are more electrostatic with significant variations in ellipticities and wave normal angles. While both types of waves are associated with electron beams, the key difference is the anisotropy of the background population, with perpendicular and parallel anisotropies, respectively. The linear instability analysis suggests that the first type of wave is mainly due to the background anisotropy, with the beam contributing additional cyclotron resonance to enhance the wave growth. The second type of broadband waves are excited via Landau resonance, and as seen in one event, the beam anisotropy induces an additional cyclotron mode. The results are supported by particle-in-cell simulations. We infer that the first type occurs downstream of the central EDR, where background electrons experience Betatron acceleration to form the perpendicular anisotropy; the second type occurs in the central EDR of guide field reconnection. A parametric study is conducted with linear instability analysis. A beam anisotropy alone of above ∼3 likely excites the cyclotron mode waves. Large beam drifts cause Doppler shifts and may lead to left-hand polarizations in the ion frame. Future studies are needed to determine whether the observation covers a broader parameter regime and to understand the competition between whistler and other instabilities.
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    Electron-Scale Reconnection in Three-Dimensional Shock Turbulence
    (Wiley, 2022-08-11) Ng, J.; Chen, L.-J.; Bessho, N.; Shuster, J.; Burkholder, B.; Yoo, J.
    Magnetic reconnection has been observed in the transition region of quasi-parallel shocks. In this work, the particle-in-cell method is used to simulate three-dimensional reconnection in a quasi-parallel shock. The shock transition region is turbulent, leading to the formation of reconnecting current sheets with various orientations. Two reconnection sites with weak and strong guide fields are studied, and it is shown that reconnection is fast and transient. Reconnection sites are characterized using diagnostics including electron flows and magnetic flux transport. In contrast to two-dimensional simulations, weak guide field reconnection is realized. Furthermore, the current sheets in these events form in a direction almost perpendicular to those found in two-dimensional simulations, where the reconnection geometry is constrained.
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    Variability of Hydration Across the Southern Hemisphere of the Moon as Observed by Deep Impact
    (Wiley, 2022-07-11) Laferriere, K. L.; Sunshine, J. M.; Feaga, L. M.
    Measurements of the 3 μm absorption feature, associated with the presence of hydroxyl and potentially molecular water, were first observed in 2009 by three separate spacecraft’ observations. Subsequent observations have revealed widespread but variable hydration over the sunlit regions of the Moon. The variability can help to disentangle the individual contributions of OH and H2O to the 3 μm absorption feature and provide insight into the mechanism of production and loss of OH/H2O on the lunar surface. We investigate the spatial and diurnal variations of hydration on the southern hemisphere of the Moon as observed by the Deep Impact spacecraft during the lunar flybys in 2009 at spatial scales of 30–70 km/pixel. For a subset of observations of across the lunar south polar region (∼2% of the lunar surface), repeat coverage includes three different times spanning half a lunar day, allowing for exploration of diurnal variability. We determine that OH/H2O is widespread but variable across the lunar south pole. At all but the lowest temperatures observed, highland regions have stronger hydration absorption features than the maria. Changes in band strength demonstrate variable loss rates controlled by surface temperatures with H2O lost quicker at higher temperatures. Observed variability in the band shape strongly suggests higher H2O abundance at low temperatures. These observations are strong evidence that the unique shape of the 3 μm band is due to both OH and H2O. The rapid diurnal evolution of the absorption feature implies that migration of these constituents occurs locally over short distances driven by temperature changes.
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    Lower-Hybrid Wave Structures and Interactions With Electrons Observed in Magnetotail Reconnection Diffusion Regions
    (Wiley, 2022-04-22) Wang, Shan; Chen, Li-Jen; Bessho, Naoki; Ng, Jonathan; Hesse, Michael; Graham, Daniel B.; Le Contel, Olivia; Gershman, Daniel; Giles, Barbara
    We investigate waves close to the lower-hybrid frequency in 12 magnetotail reconnection electron diffusion region (EDR) events with guide field levels of near-zero to 30%. In about half of the events, the wave vector has a small component along the current sheet normal, consistent with known lower-hybrid drift wave properties, but the perpendicular magnetic field fluctuations can be comparable or greater than the parallel component, a feature unique to the waves inside and adjacent to EDRs. Another new wave property is that the wave vector has a significant component along the current sheet normal in some events and completely along the normal for one event. In 1/4 of the events, the 𝐴𝐴∇⋅𝑷𝑷𝑒𝑒 term has a significant contribution to the wave electric field, possibly a feature of lower-hybrid waves more likely to exist in the diffusion region than further away from the X-line. Electron temperature variations are correlated with the wave potential, due to wave electric field acceleration and crossings at the corrugated separatrix region with different amounts of mixing between reconnection inflowing and outflowing populations. The latter also leads to the anti-correlation between parallel and perpendicular temperature components. Using four-spacecraft measurements, the magnetic field line twisting is demonstrated by the correlated fluctuations in 𝐴𝐴(∇×𝑽𝑽𝐸𝐸×𝐵𝐵)|| and 𝐴𝐴(∇×𝐁𝐁)||. The lower-hybrid wave in the EDR of weak guide field reconnection may be generated near separatrices and penetrate to the mid-plane or locally generated, and the latter possibility is beyond the prediction of previous reconnection simulations.