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Electron diffusion region during magnetopause reconnection with an intermediate guide field: Magnetospheric multiscale observations
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA..
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA.;Univ Maryland, Dept Astron, College Pk, MD 20742 USA..
NASA, Goddard Space Flight Ctr, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA.;Univ Maryland, Dept Astron, College Pk, MD 20742 USA..
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, ISSN 2169-9380, E-ISSN 2169-9402, Vol. 122, no 5, 5235-5246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An electron diffusion region (EDR) in magnetic reconnection with a guide magnetic field approximately 0.2 times the reconnecting component is encountered by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft at the Earth's magnetopause. The distinct substructures in the EDR on both sides of the reconnecting current sheet are visualized with electron distribution functions that are 2 orders of magnitude higher cadence than ever achieved to enable the following new findings: (1) Motion of the demagnetized electrons plays an important role to sustain the reconnection current and contributes to the dissipation due to the nonideal electric field, (2) the finite guide field dominates over the Hall magnetic field in an electron-scale region in the exhaust and modifies the electron flow dynamics in the EDR, (3) the reconnection current is in part carried by inflowing field-aligned electrons in the magnetosphere part of the EDR, and (4) the reconnection electric field measured by multiple spacecraft is uniform over at least eight electron skin depths and corresponds to a reconnection rate of approximately 0.1. The observations establish the first look at the structure of the EDR under a weak but not negligible guide field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 122, no 5, 5235-5246 p.
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329110DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024004ISI: 000403912500025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-329110DiVA: diva2:1150537
Available from: 2017-10-19 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved

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Khotyaintsev, Yuri
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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