Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Physical Review Letters Year : 2016

Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection

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1
J. Egedal
A. Le
W. Daughton
  • Function : Author
B. Wetherton
  • Function : Author
P. A. Cassak
  • Function : Author
L. -J. Chen
  • Function : Author
R. B. Torbert
  • Function : Author
J. Dorelli
  • Function : Author
D. J. Gershman
  • Function : Author
L. A. Avanov
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Supported by a kinetic simulation, we derive an exclusion energy parameter EX providing a lower kinetic energy bound for an electron to cross from one inflow region to the other during magnetic reconnection. As by a Maxwell demon, only high-energy electrons are permitted to cross the inner reconnection region, setting the electron distribution function observed along the low-density side separatrix during asymmetric reconnection. The analytic model accounts for the two distinct flavors of crescent-shaped electron distributions observed by spacecraft in a thin boundary layer along the low-density separatrix.
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Dates and versions

insu-03669409 , version 1 (17-05-2022)

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J. Egedal, A. Le, W. Daughton, B. Wetherton, P. A. Cassak, et al.. Spacecraft Observations and Analytic Theory of Crescent-Shaped Electron Distributions in Asymmetric Magnetic Reconnection. Physical Review Letters, 2016, 117, ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.185101⟩. ⟨insu-03669409⟩
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