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Unformatted text preview: The Earth's Magnetosphere One consequence of the solar wind having an embedded interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) is that it can interact with the earth's magnetic field. It is believed, indeed, that when the IMF is southward, it can merge with the earth's field at the subsolar magnetopause. The solar wind then carries these field lines over the poles to the tail of the magnetosphere where they can reconnect and return. at lower latitudes, to the sunward side of the magnetosphere (to start the process again). Particles can be accelerated at the dayside merging region, and they can then travel along the field lines earthwards, leading to the dayside cusp or cleft aurorae. Even greater acceleration can take place in the tail where reconnection takes place, and these particles can also travel along the field lines earthwards; nightside aurorae can be very energetic. Note that because of the geometry of this configuration the auroral zone forms a ring around the magnetic poles - that is the auroral...
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
- Fall '10