Cluster multi-point observation allowed to investigate detailed properties of the current sheet configuration. A relatively thin current sheet embedded in a substantially thicker plasma sheet is investigated by comparing the current density estimated by applying four-spacecraft analysis method (curlometer technique), and using results from particle observations adn from different theoretical models.
The results indicate that the embedded signatured can be seennot only in current density profiles, but also in ion velocity distributions which consist of two parts: the cold non-drifting core belongs to the plasma sheet background, while hotter assymetric "wings" carry the main portion of the current. The observed profiles of the current density are well reconstructed by different models (left panel of the figure). Also, the specific profile of ion distribution can be also seen in the velocity distribution in different current sheet models (right panels).
(from Artemevev et al., Ann. Geophys., 27, 4075–4087, 2009.)
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