Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellites Observations of Parallel Electric Fields Associated with Magnetic Reconnection
2016 (English)In: Physical Review Letters, ISSN 0031-9007, E-ISSN 1079-7114, Vol. 116, no 23, 235102Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
We report observations from the Magnetospheric Multiscale satellites of parallel electric fields (E-vertical bar vertical bar) associated with magnetic reconnection in the subsolar region of the Earth's magnetopause. E-vertical bar vertical bar events near the electron diffusion region have amplitudes on the order of 100 mV/m, which are significantly larger than those predicted for an antiparallel reconnection electric field. This Letter addresses specific types of E-vertical bar vertical bar events, which appear as large-amplitude, near unipolar spikes that are associated with tangled, reconnected magnetic fields. These E-vertical bar vertical bar events are primarily in or near a current layer near the separatrix and are interpreted to be double layers that may be responsible for secondary reconnection in tangled magnetic fields or flux ropes. These results are telling of the three-dimensional nature of magnetopause reconnection and indicate that magnetopause reconnection may be often patchy and/or drive turbulence along the separatrix that results in flux ropes and/or tangled magnetic fields.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 116, no 23, 235102
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-299040DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.235102ISI: 000377510300004PubMedID: 27341241OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-299040DiVA: diva2:948808