Empirical modeling of plasma pressure and magnetic field for the quiet time nightside magnetosphere is investigated. Two models are constructed for this study. One model, referred to here as T89R, is basically the magnetic field model of Tsyganenko (1989) but is modified by the addition of an inner eastward ring current at a radial distance of ∼3 RE as suggested by observation. The other is a combination of the T89R model and the long version of the magnetic field model of Tsyganenko (1987) such that the former dominates the magnetic field in the inner magnetosphere, whereas the latter prevails in the distant tail. The distribution of plasma pressure, which is required to balance the magnetic force for each of these two field models, is computed along the tail axis in the midnight meridian. The occurrence of pressure anisotropy in the inner magnetospheric region is also taken into account by determining an empirical fit to the observed plasma pressure anisotropy. This effort is the first attempt to obtain the plasma pressure distribution in force equilibrium with magnetic stresses from an empirical field model with the inclusion of pressure anisotropy. The inclusion of pressure anisotropy alters the plasma pressure by as much as a factor of ∼3 in the inner magnetosphere. The deduced plasma pressure profile along the tail axis is found to be in good agreement with the observed quiet time plasma pressure for geocentric distances between ∼2 and ∼35 RE.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
American Geophysical Union
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Lui, A. T. Y., H. E. Spence, and D. P. Stern (1994), Empirical modeling of the quiet time nightside magnetosphere, J. Geophys. Res., 99(A1), 151–157, doi:10.1029/93JA02647.
Copyright 1994 by the American Geophysical Union.