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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 31, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 31, 91–106, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-31-91-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 31, 91–106, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-31-91-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 18 Jan 2013

Regular paper | 18 Jan 2013

Double power-law spectra of energetic electrons in the Earth magnetotail

A. V. Artemyev1,2, M. Hoshino3, V. N. Lutsenko1, A. A. Petrukovich1, S. Imada4, and L. M. Zelenyi1 A. V. Artemyev et al.
  • 1Space Research Institute, RAS, Moscow, Russia
  • 2LPC2E/CNRS – University of Orleans, UMR7328, Orleans, France
  • 3Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 4Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Japan

Abstract. In this paper, we consider electron acceleration in the vicinity of X-line and corresponding formation of energy spectra. We develop an analytical model including the effect of the electron trapping by electrostatic fields and surfing acceleration. Speiser, Fermi and betatron mechanisms of acceleration are also taken into account. Analytical estimates are verified by the numerical integration of electron trajectories. The surfing mechanism and adiabatic heating are responsible for the formation of the double power-law spectrum in agreement with the previous studies. The energy of the spectrum knee is about ~150 keV for typical conditions of the Earth magnetotail. We compare theoretical results with the spacecraft observations of electron double power-law spectra in the magnetotail and demonstrate that the theory is able to describe typical energy of the spectra knee. We also estimate the role of relativistic effects and magnetic field fluctuations on the electron acceleration: the acceleration is more stable for relativistic electrons, while fluctuations of the magnetic field cannot significantly decrease the gained energy for typical magnetospheric conditions.

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