Browsing by Subject "EARTHS MAGNETOPAUSE"

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  • Hoilijoki, Sanni; Ganse, Urs; Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Cassak, Paul A.; Walsh, Brian M.; Hietala, Heli; von Alfthan, Sebastian; Palmroth, Minna (2017)
    We present results from a first study of the local reconnection rate and reconnection site motion in a 2D-3V global magnetospheric self-consistent hybrid-Vlasov simulation with due southward interplanetary magnetic field. We observe magnetic reconnection at multiple locations at the dayside magnetopause and the existence of magnetic islands, which are the 2-D representations of flux transfer events. The reconnection locations (the X lines) propagate over significant distances along the magnetopause, and reconnection does not reach a steady state. We calculate the reconnection rate at the location of the X lines and find a good correlation with an analytical model of local 2-D asymmetric reconnection. We find that despite the solar wind conditions being constant, the reconnection rate and location of the X lines are highly variable. These variations are caused by magnetosheath fluctuations, the effects of neighboring X lines, and the motion of passing magnetic islands.
  • Walsh, B. M.; Komar, C. M.; Pfau-Kempf, Y. (2017)
    Multispacecraft measurements from the Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms (THEMIS) mission are used to probe the spatial extent of an X line at the dayside magnetopause. A case study from 21 April 2014 is presented where two THEMIS spacecraft have a near-simultaneous encounter with the equatorial dayside magnetopause separated by 3.9 Earth radii. Both spacecraft observe similar steady inflow conditions with southward interplanetary magnetic field and a high magnetic shear angle at the magnetopause (133 degrees) boundary. One spacecraft observes clear fluid and kinetic signatures of active magnetic reconnection, while the other spacecraft does not observe reconnection. The predicted location of reconnection across the magnetopause is found using several theoretical models and a Block Adaptive Tree Solarwind Roe-type Upwind Scheme (BATS-R-US) MHD simulation. Each model predicts a continuous X line passing close to the two spacecraft, suggesting both would observe reconnection, if active. Using the constraints of the multipoint measurements, the extent or length L of the reconnection is estimated to be 2.4L <5.2h in local time or 6L<14 R-E.