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An Electron-Scale Current Sheet Without Bursty Reconnection Signatures Observed in the Near-Earth Tail
Univ Sci & Technol China, Dept Geophys & Planetary Sci, CAS Key Lab Geospace Environm, Hefei, Anhui, Peoples R China..
Univ Sci & Technol China, Dept Geophys & Planetary Sci, CAS Key Lab Geospace Environm, Hefei, Anhui, Peoples R China..ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3041-2682
Austrian Acad Sci, Space Res Inst, Graz, Austria..
Austrian Acad Sci, Space Res Inst, Graz, Austria..
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2018 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 45, no 10, p. 4542-4549Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Observations of a current sheet as thin as the electron scale are extremely rare in the near-Earth magnetotail. By measurement from the novel Magnetospheric Multiscale mission in the near-Earth magnetotail, we identified such an electron-scale current sheet and determined its detailed properties. The electron current sheet was bifurcated, with a half-thickness of nine electron inertial lengths, and was sandwiched between the Hall field. Because of the strong Hall electric field, the super-Alfvenic electron bulk flows were created mainly by the electric field drift, leading to the generation of the strong electron current. Inevitably, a bifurcated current sheet was formed since the Hall electric field was close to zero at the center of the current sheet. Inside the electron current sheet, the electrons were significantly heated while the ion temperature showed no change. The ions kept moving at a low speed, which was not affected by this electron current sheet. The energy dissipation was negligible inside the current sheet. The observations indicate that a thin current sheet, even as thin as electron scale, is not the sufficient condition for triggering bursty reconnection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION , 2018. Vol. 45, no 10, p. 4542-4549
Keywords [en]
magnetotail, current sheet, magnetic reconnection
National Category
Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-231737DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076330ISI: 000435262000002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047539723OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-231737DiVA, id: diva2:1230295
Note

QC 20180703

Available from: 2018-07-03 Created: 2018-07-03 Last updated: 2018-07-03Bibliographically approved

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Lindqvist, Per-Arne

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