Characteristics of the Flank Magnetopause: THEMIS Observations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The terrestrial magnetopause is the boundary that shields the Earth's magnetosphere on one side from the shocked solar wind and its embedded interplanetary magnetic field on the other side. In this paper, we show observations from two of the Time History of Events and Macroscales Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) satellites, comparing dayside magnetopause crossings with flank crossings near the terminator. Macroscopic properties such as current sheet thickness, motion, and current density are examined for a large number of magnetopause crossings. The results show that the flank magnetopause is typically thicker than the dayside magnetopause and has a lower current density. Consistent with earlier results from Cluster observations, we also find a persistent dawn‐dusk asymmetry with a thicker and more dynamic magnetopause at dawn than at dusk.