Browsing by Subject "FLUX-TRANSFER EVENTS"

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  • Pfau-Kempf, Yann; Hietala, Heli; Milan, Steve E.; Juusola, Liisa; Hoilijoki, Sanni; Ganse, Urs; von Alfthan, Sebastian; Palmroth, Minna (2016)
    We present a scenario resulting in time-dependent behaviour of the bow shock and transient, local ion reflection under unchanging solar wind conditions. Dayside magnetopause reconnection produces flux transfer events driving fast-mode wave fronts in the magnetosheath. These fronts push out the bow shock surface due to their increased downstream pressure. The resulting bow shock deformations lead to a configuration favourable to localized ion reflection and thus the formation of transient, travelling foreshock-like field-aligned ion beams. This is identified in two-dimensional global magnetospheric hybrid-Vlasov simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere performed using the Vlasiator model ( We also present observational data showing the occurrence of dayside reconnection and flux transfer events at the same time as Geotail observations of transient foreshock-like field-aligned ion beams. The spacecraft is located well upstream of the fore-shock edge and the bow shock, during a steady southward interplanetary magnetic field and in the absence of any solar wind or interplanetary magnetic field perturbations. This indicates the formation of such localized ion foreshocks.
  • 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.
  • Hietala, Heli; Partamies, N.; Laitinen, T. V.; Clausen, L. B. N.; Facsko, G.; Vaivads, A.; Koskinen, H. E. J.; Dandouras, I.; Reme, H.; Lucek, E. A. (2012)
  • Eastwood, J. P.; Nakamura, R.; Turc, L.; Mejnertsen, L.; Hesse, M. (2017)
    The magnetosphere is the lens through which solar space weather phenomena are focused and directed towards the Earth. In particular, the non-linear interaction of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetic field leads to the formation of highly inhomogenous electrical currents in the ionosphere which can ultimately result in damage to and problems with the operation of power distribution networks. Since electric power is the fundamental cornerstone of modern life, the interruption of power is the primary pathway by which space weather has impact on human activity and technology. Consequently, in the context of space weather, it is the ability to predict geomagnetic activity that is of key importance. This is usually stated in terms of geomagnetic storms, but we argue that in fact it is the substorm phenomenon which contains the crucial physics, and therefore prediction of substorm occurrence, severity and duration, either within the context of a longer-lasting geomagnetic storm, but potentially also as an isolated event, is of critical importance. Here we review the physics of the magnetosphere in the frame of space weather forecasting, focusing on recent results, current understanding, and an assessment of probable future developments.