Convenor: Jay Johnson (USA)
Co-convenors: Simon Wing (USA), Kanako Seki (Japan)
As the solar wind encounters the magnetosphere, it drags magnetic flux tailward, leading to the formation of a hot, energetic plasma sheet. The plasma sheet serves as a reservoir of particles that may be injected into the inner magnetosphere during storms and substorms. These populations are transported earthward during periods of strong convection and/or bursty injections associated with reconnection or other non-adiabatic processes. The structure of the plasma sheet and its asymmetries in pressure, temperature, density, and entropy are determined by the particle entry, transport, and loss processes. The plasma sheet dynamics are strongly coupled to the ionosphere by field-aligned currents, which transmit magnetic stresses from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere. The Region 2 currents cause strong modifications of the global ionospheric electric field distribution, shielding and penetrating electric fields at middle latitudes, SAPS at higher latitudes, and the Harang electric field reversal in the auroral region. In contrast to Earth, the interaction between the plasma sheet and the ionosphere at the giant magnetospheres is largely driven internally by centrifugal stresses rather than by the solar wind. Plasma from the internal sources is transported radially outward and lost down the magnetotail.
Papers are solicited for this symposium on any of the above or related topics, on processes determining the formation of the plasma sheet (sources and losses), its structure and dynamics, and/or the effects of electrodynamical coupling on ionospheric and magnetospheric processes. Papers dealing with the system as a whole or the coupling processes are also appropriate.