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Comparative Cluster/Double Star observations of the high and low latitude dayside magnetopause

Dunlop, M.W. , Taylor, M.G.G.T. , Davies, J.A., Pu, Z., Fazakerley, A.N., Owen, C.J., Bogdanova, Y.V. , Pitout , F., Laakso, H., Zong , Q. -G. , Shen , C., Nykyri, K., Lavraud , B., Milan, S.E., Liu , Z.-X., Escoubet , C.P., Rème , H. , Carr, C.M., Cargill , P., Phan, T.D., Lockwood, M. and Sonnerup, B. (2006) Comparative Cluster/Double Star observations of the high and low latitude dayside magnetopause. In: Cluster and Double Star Symposium, 5th Anniv. of Cluster, September 2005, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

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The launch of the Double Star mission has provided the opportunity to monitor events at distinct locations on the dayside magnetopause, in coordination with the quartet of Cluster spacecraft. We present results of two such coordinated studies. In the first, 6 April 2004, both Cluster and the Double Star TC-1 spacecraft were on outbound transits through the dawn-side magnetosphere. Cluster observed northward moving FTEs with +/- polarity, whereas TC-1 saw -/+ polarity FTEs. The strength, motion and occurrence of the FTE signatures changes somewhat according to changes in IMF clock angle. These observations are consistent with ongoing reconnection on the dayside magnetopause, resulting in a series of flux transfer events (FTEs) seen both at Cluster and TC-1. The observed polarity and motion of each FTE signature advocates the existence of an active reconnection region consistently located between the positions of Cluster and TC-1, lying north and south of the reconnection line, respectively. This scenario is supported by the application of a model, designed to track flux tube motion, to conditions appropriate for the prevailing interplanetary conditions. The results from the model confirm the observational evidence that the low-latitude FTE dynamics is sensitive to changes in convected upstream conditions. In particular, changing the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) clock angle in the model predicts that TC-1 should miss the resulting FTEs more often than Cluster, as is observed. For the second conjunction, on the 4 Jan 2005, the Cluster and TC-1 spacecraft all exited the dusk-side magnetosphere almost simultaneously, with TC-1 lying almost equatorial and Cluster at northern latitudes at about 4 RE from TC-1. The spacecraft traverse the magnetopause during a strong reversal in the IMF from northward to southward and a number of magnetosheath FTE signatures are subsequently observed. One coordinated FTE, studied in detail by Pu et al, [this issue], carries and inflowing energetic electron population and shows a motion and orientation which is similar at all spacecraft and consistent with the predictions of the model for the flux tube dynamics, given a near sub-solar reconnection line. This event can be interpreted either as the passage of two parallel flux tubes arising from adjacent x-line positions, or as a crossing of a single flux tube at different positions.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:38575

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