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Soft X‐ray and ENA Imaging of the Earth’s Dayside Magnetosphere

Connor, HK; Sibeck, DG; Collier, MR; Baliukin, II; Branduardi‐Raymont, G; Brandt, PC; Buzulukova, NY; ... Zoennchen, JH; + view all (2021) Soft X‐ray and ENA Imaging of the Earth’s Dayside Magnetosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics , 126 (3) , Article e2020JA028816. 10.1029/2020ja028816. Green open access

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The LEXI and SMILE missions will provide soft X‐ray images of the Earth's magnetosheath and cusps after their anticipated launch in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The IBEX mission showed the potential of an Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) instrument to image dayside magnetosheath and cusps, albeit over the long hours required to raster an image with a single pixel imager. Thus, it is timely to discuss the two imaging techniques and relevant science topics. We simulate soft X‐ray and low‐ENA images that might be observed by a virtual spacecraft during two interesting solar wind scenarios: a southward turning of the interplanetary magnetic field and a sudden enhancement of the solar wind dynamic pressure. We employ the OpenGGCM global magnetohydrodynamics model and a simple exospheric neutral density model for these calculations. Both the magnetosheath and the cusps generate strong soft X‐rays and ENA signals that can be used to extract the locations and motions of the bow shock and magnetopause. Magnetopause erosion corresponds closely to the enhancement of dayside reconnection rate obtained from the OpenGGCM model, indicating that images can be used to understand global‐scale magnetopause reconnection. When dayside imagers are installed with high‐ENA inner‐magnetosphere and FUV/UV aurora imagers, we can trace the solar wind energy flow from the bow shock to the magnetosphere and then to the ionosphere in a self‐standing manner without relying upon other observatories. Soft X‐ray and/or ENA imagers can also unveil the dayside exosphere density structure and its response to space weather.

Type: Article
Title: Soft X‐ray and ENA Imaging of the Earth’s Dayside Magnetosphere
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2020ja028816
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028816
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Earth's exosphere, ENA imaging, magnetopause reconnection, magnetosphere‐ionosphere coupling, soft X‐ray imaging
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123477
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