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New findings on the electron ring current enhancement

In the resent study, Bernhard Haas and co-authors found that the enhancement of the electron ring current during the geomagnetic storms is challenging to reproduce in the modeling, and it is attributed to a new missing scattering processes.

Charged particles from space are captured by the Earth’s magnetic field. They then flow in a circular path around the Earth, forming what is known as a ring current. Knowledge of its dynamics is important because it in turn affects the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere and can create dangerous conditions for satellites. In particular, the behaviour during geomagnetic storms caused by increased solar activity is not yet fully understood. Models used for this purpose have so far systematically overestimated the strength of the ring current. Researchers led by Bernhard Haas and Yuri Shprits from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences have shown this in a study published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. They analysed the particle trajectories during geomagnetic storms and identified a hitherto unrecognised particle loss process through scattering by so-called plasma waves.

See full article at GFZ website.