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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.

SUBMITTER: Eastwood JP 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5001194 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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