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Electron diffusion region during magnetopause reconnection with an intermediate guide field: Magnetospheric multiscale observations

Abstract : An electron diffusion region (EDR) in magnetic reconnection with a guide magnetic field approximately 0.2 times the reconnecting component is encountered by the four Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft at the Earth's magnetopause. The distinct substructures in the EDR on both sides of the reconnecting current sheet are visualized with electron distribution functions that are 2 orders of magnitude higher cadence than ever achieved to enable the following new findings: (1) Motion of the demagnetized electrons plays an important role to sustain the reconnection current and contributes to the dissipation due to the nonideal electric field, (2) the finite guide field dominates over the Hall magnetic field in an electron-scale region in the exhaust and modifies the electron flow dynamics in the EDR, (3) the reconnection current is in part carried by inflowing field-aligned electrons in the magnetosphere part of the EDR, and (4) the reconnection electric field measured by multiple spacecraft is uniform over at least eight electron skin depths and corresponds to a reconnection rate of approximately 0.1. The observations establish the first look at the structure of the EDR under a weak but not negligible guide field.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 24, 2022 - 3:50:52 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:11:52 AM

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JGR Space Physics - 2017 - Che...
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L. -J. Chen, M. Hesse, S. Wang, D. Gershman, R. E. Ergun, et al.. Electron diffusion region during magnetopause reconnection with an intermediate guide field: Magnetospheric multiscale observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 2017, 122, pp.5235-5246. ⟨10.1002/2017JA024004⟩. ⟨insu-03677002⟩

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