- Kim, Hee-Eun
- Journal of astronomy and space sciences
- 37, n.2
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Properties of plasmas that constitute the plasma sheet in the near-Earth magnetotail vary according to the solar wind conditions and location in the tail. In this case study, we present multi-spacecraft observations by Cluster that show a transition of plasma sheet from cold, dense to hot, tenuous state. The transition was associated with the passage of a spatial boundary that separates the plasma sheet into two regions with cold, dense and hot, tenuous plasmas. Ion phase space distributions show that the cold, dense ions have a Kappa distribution while the hot, tenuous ions have a Maxwellian distribution, implying that they have different origins or are produced by different thermalization processes. The transition boundary separated the plasma sheet in the dawn-dusk direction, and slowly moved toward the dawn flank. The hot, tenuous plasmas filled the central region while the cold, dense plasmas filled the outer region. The hot, tenuous plasmas were moving toward the Earth, pushing the cold, dense plasmas toward the flank. Different types of dynamical processes can be generated in each region, which can affect the development of geomagnetic activities.