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Extended magnetic reconnection across the dayside magnetopause

Dunlop, M. W., Zhang, Q.-H., Bogdanova, Y. V., Lockwood, M., Pu, Z., Hasegawa, H., Wang, J., Taylor, M. G. G. T., Berchem, J., Lavraud, B., Eastwood, J., Volwerk, M., Shen, C., Shi, J.-K., Constantinescu, D., Frey, H., Fazakerley, A., Sibeck, D., Escoubet, P., Wild, J. A. and Liu, Z.-X. (2011) Extended magnetic reconnection across the dayside magnetopause. Physical Review Letters, 107 (2). 025004. ISSN 0031-9007

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.025004

Abstract/Summary

The extent of where magnetic reconnection (MR), the dominant process responsible for energy and plasma transport into the magnetosphere, operates across Earth’s dayside magnetopause has previously been only indirectly shown by observations. We report the first direct evidence of X-line structure resulting from the operation of MR at each of two widely separated locations along the tilted, subsolar line of maximum current on Earth’s magnetopause, confirming the operation of MR at two or more sites across the extended region where MR is expected to occur. The evidence results from in-situ observations of the associated ion and electron plasma distributions, present within each magnetic X-line structure, taken by two spacecraft passing through the active MR regions simultaneously.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:22912
Publisher:American Physical Society

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