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Turbulence-Generated Proton-Scale Structures In The Terrestrial Magnetosheath
Austrian Acad Sci, Space Res Inst, A-8010 Graz, Austria.;Eotvos Lorand Univ, Dept Geophys & Space Sci, Budapest, Hungary..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division.
Belgian Inst Space Aeron, Brussels, Belgium.;Inst Space Sci, Magurele, Romania..
INAF Ist Astrofis & Planetol Spaziali, Rome, Italy..
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2016 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205, E-ISSN 2041-8213, Vol. 819, no 1, L15Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Recent results of numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations suggest that in collisionless space plasmas, turbulence can spontaneously generate thin current sheets. These coherent structures can partially explain the intermittency and the non-homogenous distribution of localized plasma heating in turbulence. In this Letter, Cluster multi-point observations are used to investigate the distribution of magnetic field discontinuities and the associated small-scale current sheets in the terrestrial magnetosheath downstream of a quasi-parallel bow shock. It is shown experimentally, for the first time, that the strongest turbulence-generated current sheets occupy the long tails of probability distribution functions associated with extremal values of magnetic field partial derivatives. During the analyzed one-hour time interval, about a hundred strong discontinuities, possibly proton-scale current sheets, were observed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 819, no 1, L15
Keyword [en]
magnetic fields, magnetic reconnection, plasmas, turbulence
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282289DOI: 10.3847/2041-8205/819/1/L15ISI: 000371044200015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-282289DiVA: diva2:916930
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 313038/STORM
Available from: 2016-04-05 Created: 2016-04-05 Last updated: 2016-04-05Bibliographically approved

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Yordanova, Emiliya
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Uppsala Division
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