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Ion-scale secondary flux ropes generated by magnetopause reconnection as resolved by MMS

Abstract : New Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) observations of small-scale (~7 ion inertial length radius) flux transfer events (FTEs) at the dayside magnetopause are reported. The 10 km MMS tetrahedron size enables their structure and properties to be calculated using a variety of multispacecraft techniques, allowing them to be identified as flux ropes, whose flux content is small (~22 kWb). The current density, calculated using plasma and magnetic field measurements independently, is found to be filamentary. Intercomparison of the plasma moments with electric and magnetic field measurements reveals structured non-frozen-in ion behavior. The data are further compared with a particle-in-cell simulation. It is concluded that these small-scale flux ropes, which are not seen to be growing, represent a distinct class of FTE which is generated on the magnetopause by secondary reconnection.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 17, 2022 - 2:36:42 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 8:42:07 AM

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J. P. Eastwood, T. D. Phan, P. A. Cassak, D. J. Gershman, C. Haggerty, et al.. Ion-scale secondary flux ropes generated by magnetopause reconnection as resolved by MMS. Geophysical Research Letters, 2016, 43, pp.4716-4724. ⟨10.1002/2016GL068747⟩. ⟨insu-03670242⟩

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