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Quasi-continuous reconnection accompanied by FTEs during IMF Bz ≈ 0 nT observed by Double Star TC-1 at the dawnside magnetopause

Abstract : During a one-hour interval of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) Bz ≈ 0 nT, the equatorial spacecraft Double Star TC-1 encountered the dawn flank magnetopause many times at the magnetic local time (MLT) of about 08:00 and the latitude of about -27°. During each encounter, reconnection jets were observed with their velocities up to more than 500 km/s, significantly higher than the background flow in the magnetosheath. The fast flows match the theoretical prediction of Alfvénic acceleration well. The medium temperature and density of ions in the boundary layer indicate the open magnetic field topology inside this layer. The mainly southward and tailward flows of the plasma jets alongside with the negative slopes of the Walén test indicate that the spacecraft was located south of the reconnection site, consistent with both anti-parallel and component reconnection models. The accelerated flows were observed lasting for about one hour, with some modulations by the oscillations of the magnetopause, but no reversals in the direction of Vz were found during the interval. The significantly enhanced flows in the boundary layer compared to the adjacent magnetosheath indicate that the reconnection was quasi-continuously active at the magnetopause northward of the spacecraft under such IMF conditions. At the same time, the bipolar signatures in BN with enhancements of the magnetic field indicate the occurrence of the Flux Transfer Events (FTEs). The observed reconnection was quasi-continuous, whereas the simultaneously accompanied FTEs were time-dependent under the IMF Bz ≈ 0 nT. For this event, however, it is not possible to identify whether the reconnection was anti-parallel or component because the TC-1 was far away from the reconnection site.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 3:57:48 PM
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Guang Qing Yan, Forrest S. Mozer, Tai Phan, Chao Shen, Tao Chen, et al.. Quasi-continuous reconnection accompanied by FTEs during IMF Bz ≈ 0 nT observed by Double Star TC-1 at the dawnside magnetopause. Advances in Space Research, 2016, 58, pp.208-217. ⟨10.1016/j.asr.2015.08.014⟩. ⟨insu-03669470⟩



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