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Title: Kinetic signatures of the region surrounding the X line in asymmetric (magnetopause) reconnection
Authors: M. A. Shay
T. D. Phan
C. C. Haggerty
M. Fujimoto
J. F. Drake
K. Malakit
P. A. Cassak
M. Swisdak
Bartol Research Institute
Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley
JAXA Institute of Space and Astronautical Science
University of Maryland
Mahidol University
West Virginia University
Keywords: Earth and Planetary Sciences
Issue Date: 16-May-2016
Citation: Geophysical Research Letters. Vol.43, No.9 (2016), 4145-4154
Abstract: © 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Kinetic particle-in-cell simulations are used to identify signatures of the electron diffusion region (EDR) and its surroundings during asymmetric magnetic reconnection. A "shoulder" in the sunward pointing normal electric field (EN > 0) at the reconnection magnetic field reversal is a good indicator of the EDR and is caused by magnetosheath electron meandering orbits in the vicinity of the X line. Earthward of the X line, electrons accelerated by EN form strong currents and crescent-shaped distribution functions in the plane perpendicular to B. Just downstream of the X line, parallel electric fields create field-aligned crescent electron distribution functions. In the immediate upstream magnetosheath, magnetic field strength, plasma density, and perpendicular electron temperatures are lower than the asymptotic state. In the magnetosphere inflow region, magnetosheath ions intrude resulting in an Earthward pointing electric field and parallel heating of magnetospheric particles. Many of the above properties persist with a guide field of at least unity.
ISSN: 19448007
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2016-2017

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