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NAM2012 - All Presentation Details

Record 439 of 756

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Magnetopause Reconnection Across Wide Local Time.

Author: Malcolm Dunlop


Co-Authors: Q.-H Zhang (PRIC), Y. Bogdanova (MSSL), Z. Pu (PKU), H. Hasegawa (ISAS), K-H. Trattner (Lockheed Martin), M. Lockwood (Reading U), M. G. G. T. Taylor (ESA), J. Berchem (IGPP), D. Constantinescu (TU-BS), B. Lavraud (IRAP), J. Eastwood (ICL), H. Frey (SSL), J Wild (Lancaster U), C. Shen (NSSC), J-K Shi (NSSC), M. Volwerk (SRI), A. N. Fazakerley (MSSL), D. Sibeck (GSFC), P. Escoubet (ESA).

Session: MST1: Magnetic Reconnection in Space and Astrophysical Plasmas

Presentation type: Poster      Poster Session B   


The operation and extent of magnetic reconnection (MR) across the Earth’s magnetopause has recently benefitted from an unprecedented growth in complexity of multi-point, in situ measurements, on the small and meso-scale, from Earth-bound space missions. Recent findings in active sites of MR have increased the theoretical understanding of the detailed structure within the ion diffusion region surrounding the magnetic X-line or null field, nevertheless, direct measurements of this small region in space are still relatively rare, owing to the time variable nature of the near-Earth space environment. During April to July 2007 a combination of 10 spacecraft (Cluster, THEMIS and TC-1) provided simultaneous monitoring of the dayside magnetopause across a wide range of local times. Here, we report direct evidence, taken from a conjunction of the THEMIS-A spacecraft and the Double Star, TC-1 spacecraft, of the X-line structure resulting from the operation of MR at two widely (~9 RE) separated locations along the expected sub-solar merging line (line of maximum current) on the Earth’s magnetopause. The near simultaneous conjunctions of all 10 spacecraft also identify an extended magnetic reconnection X-line, tilted in the low latitude, sub-solar region, which extends to (anti-parallel) locations on the dawn-side flank. The observed global pattern of FTE’s is consistent with the initially strong, but changing, IMF By conditions and supports the result that reconnection activity may occur simultaneously across the sub-solar and flank magnetopause, linked to the (large-scale) extended configuration of the merging line. The occurrence of MR is therefore consistent with a ‘component’ driven scenario and independent of guide field conditions.

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