Lecturer: Mats Andre (IRF)
Date: 2010-04-08 10:30
Place: Aniara

Cold plasma and magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause

Mats Andre
Swedish Institute of Space Physics

We report on detailed observations of magnetic reconnection and Flux Transfer Events at the magnetopause. We use observations from the four Cluster spacecraft at different simultaneous separations (about 35 km and 8000 km, i. e. the electron/ion and MHD scales, respectively).

We confirm previous observations of cold (eV) plasma in reconnection regions, now using a method based on detection of the wake electric field caused by cold ions streaming past a charged spacecraft. This method allows an estimate of the ion energy, and can reliably indicate changes at boundaries with high resolution. Multi-satellite observations are used to investigate the influence of the cold plasma on the reconnection process. We find that the potential drop accelerating plasma at the edges of a reconnection jet (in the separatrix region) depends on the ion temperature. A cold plasma gives a small potential drop (100 V) while in other events a hot keV plasma gives a larger (kV) potential difference.

Created 2010-03-25 17:46:11 by Mats Holmström
Last changed 2010-03-31 07:18:39 by Mats Holmström