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Journal Article

Thin Current Sheets of Sub‐ion Scales observed by MAVEN in the Martian Magnetotail


Dubinin,  E. M.
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Grigorenko, E. E., Zelenyi, L. M., DiBraccio, G., Ermakov, V. N., Shuvalov, S. D., Malova, H. V., et al. (2019). Thin Current Sheets of Sub‐ion Scales observed by MAVEN in the Martian Magnetotail. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(12), 6214-6222. doi:10.1029/2019GL082709.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-5B96-B
Current sheets (CSs) play a crucial role in the storage and conversion of magnetic energy in planetary magnetotails. Using high‐resolution magnetic field data from MAVEN spacecraft, we report the existence of super thin current sheets (STCSs) in the Martian magnetotail. The typical half‐thickness of the STCSs is ~5 km, and it is much less than the gyroradius of thermal protons (ρp). The STCSs are embedded into a thicker sheet with L ≥ ρp forming a multiscale current configuration. The formation of STCS does not depend on ion composition, but it is controlled by the small value of the normal component of the magnetic field at the neutral plane (BN). A number of the observed multiscale CSs are located in the parametric map close to the tearing‐unstable domain, and thus, the inner STCS can provide an additional free energy to excite ion tearing mode in the Martian magnetotail.