Measurements of the coupled Solar-Wind-Magnetosphere-Ionosphere system have revealed significant dawn-dusk asymmetries in its behaviour, however as yet there is no real consensus regarding the source of, and mechanisms driving, these asymmetries. The idea of this team is to bring together experimentalists, simulators and theorists in the domains of space plasma, magnetospheric and ionospheric physics and address this gap in our understanding.

Dawn-Dusk asymmetries have been observed in the Earth's magnetotail current systems and particle fluxes, in the ring current, and in polar cap patches and the global convection pattern in the ionosphere. There is also evidence that the proton and electron auroral ovals are offset in the Dawn-Dusk direction. Various authors have related these asymmetries to differences in solar illumination, ionospheric conductivity and processes internal to the magnetosphere. Significant Dawn-Dusk asymmetries have also been observed in the terrestrial magnetosheath, and there is evidence that plasma entry mechanism to the magnetotail, for example, operate differently in the pre- and post-midnight sectors.

The goal of this team is to examine all of these asymmetries and investigate their causes, with the ultimate aim of providing a theoretical and conceptual framework into which they can be placed. Achieving this will require a study of the coupled solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere system involving space- and groundbased observations of the system, and global- and local-scale simulations. As such we aim to bring together elements of the simulation and observational communities, specialising in the relevant aspects of magnetospheric and ionospheric physics, to determine those physical processes that are responsible for the observed asymmetries in the system and assess their relative importance.