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Observations of an Electron Diffusion Region in Symmetric Reconnection with Weak Guide Field
Nanchang Univ, Inst Space Sci & Technol, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Peoples R China..
Nanchang Univ, Inst Space Sci & Technol, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Peoples R China..
Nanchang Univ, Inst Space Sci & Technol, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Peoples R China..
Nanchang Univ, Inst Space Sci & Technol, Nanchang, Jiangxi, Peoples R China..
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2019 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 870, no 1, article id 34Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft encountered an electron diffusion region (EDR) in a symmetric reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail. The EDR contained a guide field of about 2 nT, which was 13% of the magnetic field in the inflow region, and its thickness was about 2 local electron inertial lengths. Intense energy dissipation, a super-Alfvenic electron jet, electron nongyrotropy, and crescent-shaped electron velocity distributions were observed in association with this EDR. These features are similar to those of the EDRs in asymmetric reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. Electrons gained about 50% of their energy from the immediate upstream to the EDR. Crescent electron distributions were seen at the boundary of the EDR, while highly curved magnetic field lines inside the EDR may have gyrotropized the electrons. The EDR was characterized by a parallel current that was carried by antiparallel drifting electrons that were probably accelerated by a parallel electric field along the guide field. These results reveal the essential electron physics of the EDR and provide a significant example of an EDR in symmetric reconnection with a weak guide field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOP PUBLISHING LTD , 2019. Vol. 870, no 1, article id 34
Keywords [en]
magnetic reconnection, Sun: heliosphere
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-241319DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaf16fISI: 000455043900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85059838467OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-241319DiVA, id: diva2:1282546
Note

QC 20190125

Available from: 2019-01-25 Created: 2019-01-25 Last updated: 2019-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Lindqvist, Per-Arne

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