angeo-26-2353-2008.pdf (2.35 MB)
Download file

The azimuthal extent of three flux transfer events

Download (2.35 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 31.10.2016, 16:45 by R. C. Fear, S. E. Milan, A. N. Fazakerley, E. A. Lucek, S. W. H. Cowley, I. Dandouras
In early 2006, the Cluster spacecraft crossed the dayside magnetopause twice each orbit with the spacecraft at their largest separation of the entire mission (~10 000 km). In this paper, we present in situ observations at this separation size of flux transfer events (FTEs), which are a signature of transient or time-varying magnetopause reconnection. We study a magnetopause crossing on 27 January 2006; for half an hour, the tetrahedron of Cluster spacecraft straddled the magnetopause and during this time a large number of flux transfer events were observed. Three particular FTEs were observed by all four spacecraft, enabling it to be shown that individual FTEs at the magnetopause can extend azimuthally for at least 10 000 km. By combining the Cluster tetrahedron geometry with the observed velocity of the FTEs, it can be shown that the poleward extent of one FTE is significantly smaller than its azimuthal extent. The location of the Cluster spacecraft when they observed this FTE suggests that it is inconsistent with the simple interpretation of an "elbow-shaped" flux tube. The FTE's azimuthal extent suggests that it was more likely generated at a comparatively long reconnection line or lines, although the magnetic shear across the magnetopause is not high enough to exclude the "elbow-shaped" model entirely.

History

Citation

Annales Geophysicae, 2008, 26 (8), pp. 2353-2369 (17)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Annales Geophysicae

Publisher

European Geosciences Union (EGU), Copernicus Publications, Springer Verlag

issn

0992-7689

eissn

1432-0576

Copyright date

2008

Available date

31/10/2016

Publisher version

http://www.ann-geophys.net/26/2353/2008/angeo-26-2353-2008.html

Language

en