Simulation and TWINS observations of the 22 July 2009 storm

M. C. Fok, N. Buzulukova, S. H. Chen, P. W. Valek, J. Goldstein, D. J. McComas

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28 Scopus citations


TWINS is the first mission to perform stereo imaging of the Earth's ring current. The magnetic storm on 22 July 2009 was at the time the largest storm observed since TWINS began routine stereo imaging in June 2008. On 22 July 2009, the Dst dropped to nearly -80 nT at 0700 and 1000 UT. During the main phase, and at the peak of the storm, TWINS 1 and 2 were near apogee and moving between predawn and postdawn local time. The energetic neutral atom (ENA) imagers on the two spacecraft captured the storm intensification and the formation of the partial ring current. The peak of the high-altitude ENA emissions was seen in the midnight-to-dawn local time sector. The development of this storm has been simulated using the comprehensive ring current model (CRCM) to understand and interpret the observed signatures. We perform CRCM runs with constant and time-varying magnetic field. The model calculations are validated by comparing the simulated ENA and ion flux intensities with TWINS ENA images and in situ ion data from a THEMIS satellite. Simulation with a static magnetic field produces a strong shielding electric field that skews the ion drift trajectories toward dawn. The model's corresponding peak ENA emissions are always more eastward than those in the observed TWINS images. On the other hand, the simulation with a dynamic magnetic field gives better spatial agreement with both ENA and in situ particle data, suggesting that temporal variations of the geomagnetic field exert a significant influence upon global ring current ion dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA12231
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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