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Observations of Flux Ropes With Strong Energy Dissipation in the Magnetotail
Wuhan Univ, Sch Elect Informat, Wuhan, Hubei, Peoples R China;Shandong Prov Key Lab Opt Astron & Solar Terr Env, Weihai, Peoples R China.
Wuhan Univ, Sch Elect Informat, Wuhan, Hubei, Peoples R China.
Wuhan Univ, Sch Elect Informat, Wuhan, Hubei, Peoples R China.
Nanchang Univ, Inst Space Sci & Technol, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Peoples R China.
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2019 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 46, no 2, p. 580-589Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An ion-scale flux rope (FR), embedded in a high-speed electron flow (possibly an electron vortex), is investigated in the magnetotail using observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. Intense electric field and current and abundant waves are observed in the exterior and interior regions of the FR. Comparable parallel and perpendicular currents in the interior region imply that the FR has a non-force-free configuration. Electron demagnetization occurs in some subregions of the FR. It is surprising that strong dissipation (I x E' up to 2,000 pW/m(3)) occurs in the center of the FR without signatures of secondary reconnection or coalescence of two FRs, implying that FR may provide another important channel for energy dissipation in space plasmas. These features indicate that the observed FR is still highly dynamical, and hosts multiscale coupling processes, even though the FR has a very large scale and is far away from the reconnection site. Plain Language Summary: Flux ropes, 3-D helical magnetic structures, in which magnetic field lines twist with each other, play an important role in the macroscopic and microscopic physical process during magnetic reconnection. Most of previous studies focused on the flux ropes in the reconnection region. However, some physical process inside macroscopic flux ropes far away from the reconnection site in the magnetotail is still unclear due to the lack of high time resolution data. In this letter, thanks to the unprecedented high time resolution data of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, we report an ion-scale flux rope and study its dynamics. Our observations demonstrate that the observed flux rope is still highly dynamical, and hosting multiscale coupling processes and strong energy dissipation, even though the flux rope has very large scale and is far away from the reconnection site.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 46, no 2, p. 580-589
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-378208DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081099ISI: 000458607400007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-378208DiVA, id: diva2:1294210
Available from: 2019-03-06 Created: 2019-03-06 Last updated: 2019-03-06Bibliographically approved

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Khotyaintsev, Yuri V.

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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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