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Electron-scale dynamics of the diffusion region during symmetric magnetic reconnection in space
Univ New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 USA;Southwest Res Inst SwRI, San Antonio, TX 78228 USA.
Southwest Res Inst SwRI, San Antonio, TX 78228 USA.
Univ Calif Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA.
Southwest Res Inst SwRI, San Antonio, TX 78228 USA;Univ Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
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2018 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 362, no 6421, p. 1391-1395Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Magnetic reconnection is an energy conversion process that occurs in many astrophysical contexts including Earth's magnetosphere, where the process can be investigated in situ by spacecraft. On 11 July 2017, the four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft encountered a reconnection site in Earth's magnetotail, where reconnection involves symmetric inflow conditions. The electron-scale plasma measurements revealed (i) super-Alfvenic electron jets reaching 15,000 kilometers per second; (ii) electron meandering motion and acceleration by the electric field, producing multiple crescent-shaped structures in the velocity distributions; and (iii) the spatial dimensions of the electron diffusion region with an aspect ratio of 0.1 to 0.2, consistent with fast reconnection. The well-structured multiple layers of electron populations indicate that the dominant electron dynamics are mostly laminar, despite the presence of turbulence near the reconnection site.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE , 2018. Vol. 362, no 6421, p. 1391-1395
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373327DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2998ISI: 000453845000056PubMedID: 30442767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-373327DiVA, id: diva2:1278752
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Swedish National Space BoardAvailable from: 2019-01-15 Created: 2019-01-15 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Alm, LoveKhotyaintsev, Yuri V.

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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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