For the first time, direct comparisons of the equatorial ion partial pressure and pitch angle anisotropy observed by TWINS and simulated by CIMI are presented. The TWINS ENA images are from a 4-day period, 7-10 September 2015. The simulations use both the empirical Weimer 2K and the self-consistent RCM electric potentials. There are two moderate storms in succession during this period. In most cases, we find that the general features of the ring current in the inner magnetosphere obtained from the observations and the simulations are similar. Nevertheless, we do also see consistent contrasts between the simulations and observations. The simulated partial pressure peaks are often inside the observed peaks and more toward dusk than the measured values. There are also cases in which the measured equatorial ion partial pressure shows multiple peaks that are not seen in the simulations. This occurs during a period of intense AE index. The CIMI simulations consistently show regions of parallel anisotropy spanning the night side between approximately 6 and 8RE, whereas the parallel anisotropy is seen in the observations only during the main phase of the first storm. The evidence from the unique global view provided by the TWINS observations strongly suggests that there are features in the ring current partial pressure distributions that can be best explained by enhanced electric shielding and/or spatially localized, short-duration injections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science