Challenges associated with near-Earth nightside current

Michael W. Liemohn, Natalia Y. Ganushkina, Raluca Ilie, Daniel T. Welling

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Every magnetic field of solar and planetary space environments is associated with a current of differentially flowing charged particles. Electric potential patterns in geospace and near other planets are also closely linked with currents. Close to the Earth, particularly in the near-Earth nightside magnetosphere, several current systems wax and wane during periods of space weather activity. The velocity-dependent drift, energization, and loss processes in this region complicate current system evolution. There is a discrepancy about the magnitude, timing, and location of these currents, however, and this Commentary pitches the case for a concerted community effort to resolve this issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6763-6768
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • banana current
  • current density
  • magnetospheric current
  • partial ring current
  • ring current
  • tail current

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics

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